Technical Bulletin
Related Documents
PTB012-ETS Haloanisoles Analysis

ETS Haloanisoles Analysis
ETS Laboratories has developed an analytical tool that reliably measures the most significant wine related haloanisoles.

Haloanisoles can impart “musty” or “moldy”  off-flavors to wine, other beverages and foods.

The haloanisoles found most often in wine are:

  • 2,4,6 -Trichloroanisole (TCA)
  • 2,3,4,6 -Tetrachloroanisole (TeCA)
  • Pentachloroanisole (PCA)
  • 2,4,6 -Tribromoanisole (TBA)

Analysis of wines with “musty”, “moldy”, or “wet- cardboard-like” aromas can determine if haloanisoles are the source of off-flavors and may suggest possible origins of contamination.

The haloanisole most commonly found in wine is TCA. It is widely known as the “cork taint” compound, but contamination of cellared wine is also possible. The other haloanisoles: TeCA, PCA and TBA are biodegradation byproducts of certain wood preservatives, with TBA sometimes also originating from flame retardants.

Potential Contamination Sources
Haloanisoles can be transferred into wine through a cellar's atmosphere or by contact with contaminated materials from tank coatings, hoses, barrels, oak chips, filter pads, closures and additives such as bentonite.

Sensory Thresholds
Haloanisoles are ranked among the most powerful odor compounds, with odor thresholds in the low part-per-trillion range. All haloanisoles have similar odors, but their sensory impact in wine vary with the specific compound and wine characteristics.

Analytical Method
The ETS analysis of haloanisoles utilizes an automated extraction followed by gas chromatography and detection by mass spectrometry (GC/MS).
Quantitation is based on comparison with a deuterated internal standard. Analytical sensitivity and accuracy allow a minimum reportable quantity of 0.5 ng/L for TCA and 1 ng/L for other haloanisoles.

  • Cellared Wine Analysis
    Haloanisole contamination of cellared wines is a serious problem in all wine-producing countries. Periodic screening is an excellent precautionary tool for detection of possible contamination from the cellar environment or cooperage. Systematic pre-bottling analyses will establish baseline haloanisole levels in wine at the time of bottling and prevent the release of contaminated wines to the marketplace.
  • Bottled Wine Analysis
    Quantitative determination of Haloanisoles in any “musty” bottled wine will determine if TCA, TeCA, TBA or any combination of these compounds are related to undesirable sensory characteristics. Variability among relative levels of haloanisoles is also typically used to investigate the origin of wine contamination.
  • Cork Quality Control
    Cork suppliers and wineries widely use cork soaks as a quality control tool. Soaks are usually evaluated using qualitative sensory techniques and are accepted or rejected based on the detection of off-aromas.

    Wineries or cork suppliers can utilize the ETS Haloanisoles Analysis on cork soaks to evaluate and improve existing quality control programs. Qualitative analysis can be used to provide reinforcing data for corks categorized by sensory methods, in parallel with sensory programs, or to train sensory panelists. In addition, it allows cork grading rather than simple acceptance or rejection.

How to submit samples?
Samples, including wine samples taken from opened bottles, should be submitted in new glass bottles of at least 125 mL, without any headspace, using caps with Teflon or aluminum-foil liners. Plastic containers or plastic lids are not appropriate since they have a high affinity for haloanisoles.

ETS provides sample bottles upon request and at no cost. These bottles are appropriate for wine, cork soaks and water samples. Unopened commercial bottles can also be submitted in their original containers.

Cork samples should be submitted in plastic bags or sealed containers (corks are less susceptible to interaction with plastic than are wines).

This document is a compilation of information and views from various sources provided for the convenience of our clients. Information in this document is provided "as is" without warranty of any kind, either expressed or implied, including but not limited to the warranties of merchantability, fitness for a particular purpose and freedom from infringement. User assumes the entire risk as to the accuracy and the use of this document. This document may be copied and distributed subject to the following conditions: 1) All text must be copied without modification and all pages must be included; 2) All copies must contain ETS's copyright notice and any other notices provided therein; and 3) This document may not be distributed for profit. All trademarks are acknowledged. Copyright © ETS Laboratories 2001-2013.