Acetaldehyde is associated with the oxidation of wines, beers and spirits. Excessive levels of Acetaldehyde is one of the more typical faults identified in these beverages as it only requires the presence of oxygen and a catalyst for it to be created. It can, therefore, occur both during production and in the finished bottled product and manifests itself in an Aroma that is typically described as green/green apple or lightly grassy and fruity. The strange looking word – aldehydic (pronounced as al – d –hid-ic) - is the adjective for the word aldehyde which describes an overall class of molecules formed from the reaction of oxygen (that is, oxidation) with an alcohol. The family of aldehydes of chief interest to the drinks world have hydrocarbon chains of varying lengths to the left of the defining aldehyde group. The aroma profile changes with the length of the chain.
Acetaldehyde, with one carbon in the chain, is one of the most important related to alcoholic drinks. It is a volatile aroma which might sting your nose with a trigeminal blast at very high concentrations and yet, at low concentrations, can confer freshness. The Acetaldehyde Aroma Profile which is featured in our Faults Aroma Kit conveys its vaguely “apple-like,” fruity aroma.
See our Faults Aroma Kit for more information.