The Effect of Pre-Harvest Application of Pectic Oligosaccharides and Abscisic Acid on Technological Ripening and Anthocyanin Profile of ‘Syrah’ Must and Grapes Grown in a Warm Climate
The progressive increase of environmental temperature as a consequence of climate change is a challenge
for the wine industry. Elevated temperatures during grape ripening affect the development of grape skin
color by inhibiting the synthesis of pigments and promoting their degradation, which causes an imbalance
in the chromatic quality of must and red wine. The application of pectic oligosaccharides (POs) and abscisic
acid (ABA) triggers the phenylpropanoid pathway and increases the color index in grapes. Since the atharvest
pigments and phenolic compounds are determinant for wine quality, this work addressed the preharvest
application of POs and ABA as an in-field strategy for improving the quality of Syrah must and
grapes grown in a warm climate. The color development, physicochemical parameters, phenolic content,
and pigments in berries and must were evaluated. Results showed POs and ABA improved berry color
development and anthocyanin content during ripening. Musts from POs-treated berries exhibited the
highest phenols concentration and the most intense color, related to higher chroma values and anthocyanin
content, particularly delphinidin, petunidin, and malvidin 3-glucosides, while ABA improved must tonality
by reducing the hue angle. In summary, POs and ABA application at veráison, differentially modulated
the technological ripening of Syrah grapes and can be an alternative to conventional agrochemicals to
preserve the quality of musts elaborated from grapes grown in warm climates, by increasing the content of
phenolic compounds and enhancing berry skin color development through the differential accumulation
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