In the introduction of this article, some examples of the use of trace element data in the characterisation of viticultural produce are reminded. This paper described the determination of zinc, copper and lead by two techniques based on radically different principles. The atomic absorption spectrometry, applied after the mineralisation of the samples by wet process, allows the determination of the total element contents in wine. The polarography allows the analysis of the concentrations of these elements that are under labile chemical forms, and which are dissolved under the ionic forms Zn++, Cu++ and Pb++. The wines analysed in this study were produced from three different parcels chosen in relation to their geological qualities. The vines implanted on these parcels are strictly identical, and three fermentation techniques were applied to each lots of grapes. The results obtained shows that the copper is only under ionic form and that the temperature of the fermentation influences the total copper level in the final wine. At the opposite, there is no ion Pb++ in the samples, but a long duration of maceration increases the lead content. Concerning zinc, only the ions Zn++ are present in the wine in case of a short duration of the maceration. When this duration increases, some other chemical forms of zinc are dissolved in addition to the ions Zn++ which are instantaneously dissociated in aqueous solutions. The problem of the contamination of grapes by the materials used, the phytosanitary treatments and the atmospheric pollution is discussed. The knowledge of the proportion of a trace element that is under ionic forms is indispensable to evaluate the bio-availability of the considered element and the toxicologic risks. The advent and the expansion of the electrochemical methods is expected as an important advance in this field of research.
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