Since this month, the ICVV incorporates a new metabolomic analysis platform among the different analytical facilities available at the Instrumental Analysis Service. This platform is comprised of an ultra high performance liquid chromatograph (UPLC), with ultraviolet photodiode detector (DAD) and QTOF ion mobility high resolution mass spectrometry detector. Data processing is a key question in these equipments and the system includes three networked workstations.
This new platform represents an important improvement of the current analytical capabilities of the ICVV. Its greater identification capacity allows a very broad characterization of the components of the samples, as well as greater sensitivity for the quantification of minor components. This new analytical equipment responds to the growing needs of ICVV research groups to have high-resolution liquid chromatography instrumentation for the characterization of complex samples, with a great diversity of compounds in highly variable concentrations.
With the launch of this new platform, it is intended to develop different "omics" techniques, which allow addressing multiple issues in the field of viticulture (interaction with the environment, plant-pathogen interaction and varietal genetic improvement), the improvement of the control of the winemaking processes or the knowledge of the longevity of a wine, as well as understanding the molecular bases of the sensory characteristics and healthy properties of the wine. This is achieved because it allows to work both in directed and undirected metabolomics. Undirected metabolomics allows an analytical approach based on the search and identification of unknown compounds, in an analysis without prior hypotheses, thanks to software specially designed for this approach. A clear example of application would be the study of the grape and / or wine metabolome aimed at varietal characterization or the identification of production areas, among other factors of interest. Targeted metabolomics allows a very precise quantification of the compounds of interest, with a high sensitivity. An example of the application of this analytical approach would be the quantification of minority components of the grape and / or wine, responsible for its main quality attributes. In the future, this mass spectrometry analytical platform could be coupled to a gas chromatography to complete the metabolomic studies of volatile fractions.