Sacks Research Lab – Flavor, Food, Chemistry

Welcome to the Sacks Lab

The Sacks lab studies how pre- and post-harvest factors affect the organoleptic properties of agricultural products, and particularly wines and juices. The lab uses a range of analytical equipment with a strong focus on coupled, chromatographic techniques (GC-MS, GCxGC/MS, GC-MS/MS, GC-C-IRMS, GC-Olfactometry, GC-PFPD, LC-MS/MS) for study of flavor and color compounds, as well as developing inexpensive gas detection tube based analytical tools for smaller producers

Recently completed and ongoing projects include

  • Determining effects of cultural practices on flavor chemistry of cool-climate red and white wines
  • Developing GC-MS methods for measurement of ultra-trace (ng/L) aroma compounds
  • Understanding the nature and origins of undesirable flavors in native grape species (off-aromas, low tannin concentrations)
  • Adapting inexpensive gas detection tubes for routine analyses of important wine components including elemental sulfur and SO2
  • Determining pre- and post-harvest factors that effect off-aroma and color stability in grape juices
  • Understanding the fate and reappearance of sulfurous off-aroma compounds during wine storage

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