The partial dehydration of grapes after harvest aimed at winemaking has been shown to be a process that brings increased concentration of sugar and phenolic compounds in the must, which affects the quality of the wines produced. However, the works developed so far have studied the process for temperatures up to a maximum of 25°C and air velocity lower than 1 m.s-1. This study aimed to analyze the physical-chemical changes concentration of total soluble solids (TSS) and phenolic compounds (PC) after partial dehydration of 'Syrah' grapes subjected to two treatments combining two temperatures and one air velocity (T1= 22.9°C/1.79 m.s-1 and T2 = 37.1°C/1.79 m.s-1) and relative humidity of 40%. The water loss of the grapes was approximately 14% and the drying process lasted between 34 and 68 h for treatments T2 and T1, respectively. We experimentally and statistically verified that the treatments promoted significant increase in TSS and PC; however, for PC at the temperature of 37.1°C, the increase accounted for approximately 27%, whereas, for the temperature of 22.9°C, it was only 12%. For TSS, the increase was on average 12.47±0.9% between both treatments. The results demonstrate that it is possible to moderately dry grapes, which consequently results in improvements in their chemical composition and can improve the quality of wine.
Key words: Wine, polyphenols, soluble solids, drying, instrumentation.
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