CR4 - The Engineer's Place for News and Discussion ®


The Engineer's Notebook Blog

The Engineer's Notebook

The Engineer's Notebook is a shared blog for entries that don't fit into a specific CR4 blog. Topics may range from grammar to physics and could be research or or an individual's thoughts - like you'd jot down in a well-used notebook.

Previous in Blog: Is the Internet Stalking Us?   Next in Blog: California Drivers Are Saying Goodbye to Botts' Dots
Close
Close
Close
13 comments

These Sneaky Stink Bugs Could Ruin Your Wine

Posted May 25, 2017 1:00 PM by MaggieMc

Growing up in Pennsylvania, we had stink bugs everywhere—in our house, in our beds, on our dog. It’s rumored the little invasive species hitched a ride to Allentown, Pennsylvania from China or Japan. If they haven’t reached your locale yet, consider yourself lucky. They’re gross little shield-shaped bugs that make your fingers stink when you squish them. It turns out, I have yet another reason to dislike them now: they ruin wine—more specifically, red wine.

The brown marmorated stink bug (BMSB, Halyomorpha halys), which was the focus of this study by Oregon State University researchers, generally migrates into vineyards in August and September, just in time for harvest in North American vineyards. As a result, the stink bugs get carried into the winery within the grape clusters.

The stink bugs are small, camouflaged—and apparently “cryptic”—enough to make detecting the bugs difficult, says a study published in the Journal of Agricultural and Food Chemistry. With the stink bugs undetected, they are processed with the wine.

When grapes are pressed and further processed, we get wine. When stink bugs are pressed, we get stress compounds. Two of the compounds, tridecane and (E)-2-decenal, make up 70% of the overall stinky mix. Tridecane is odorless, but (E)-2-decenal is known for its “undesirable strong green, coriander (or cilantro), and musty-like aromas.” Reaching a certain amount of (E)-2-decenal resulted in “consumer rejection,” so this was what the researchers watched for.

While making white wine, the levels of the stress compound (E)-2-decenal were strongest after a hard press, but (E)-2-decenal appeared to be completely removed during alcoholic fermentation. In red wine, concentrations of (E)-2-decenal were highest after the grapes were destemmed and crushed. Fermentation reduced those compounds, but since pressing occurs after fermentation in red wine, the stress compounds increased again prior to aging.

The experiment also compared live and dead stink bugs, revealing that killing the bugs in the field might not be enough to remove taint from the wine. Unless the bugs were guaranteed to have a blissful experience in the fields. Researchers indicated that “a stressful situation prior to death” resulted in more stress compounds.

Personally, I would have thought that any stink bugs in my wine were too many, but it turns out the magic number is three.The researchers decided on a threshold of three stink bugs per grape cluster for preserving red wine taste. This was considered an average that took into account multiple pressing processes. For white wine, the stink bugs were considered irrelevant to overall taste.

So, the next time you pick up that glass of wine, consider how many of our stinky friends might be hiding inside.

P.S. Happy National Wine Day everyone!

Image Credits: Vaughn Walton/ Oregon State University and the Journal of Agricultural and Food Chemistry

Reply

Interested in this topic? By joining CR4 you can "subscribe" to
this discussion and receive notification when new comments are added.
Guru
Technical Fields - Technical Writing - New Member

Join Date: Feb 2006
Location: Near Delaware Water Gap
Posts: 1293
Good Answers: 82
#1

Re: These Sneaky Stink Bugs Could Ruin Your Wine

05/25/2017 1:49 PM

Phew, only red wine is impacted. I'm safe here in stink bug-land.

Reply
Guru

Join Date: Apr 2008
Location: Chicago
Posts: 2129
Good Answers: 68
#2

Re: These Sneaky Stink Bugs Could Ruin Your Wine

05/25/2017 5:42 PM

I'm going to add that to the list of things to never worry about and wait 'national wine day'?

Gotta go

__________________
High Tolerance is Beautiful
Reply
Guru

Join Date: Mar 2007
Location: at the beach in Florida
Posts: 18646
Good Answers: 1086
#3

Re: These Sneaky Stink Bugs Could Ruin Your Wine

05/25/2017 7:52 PM
__________________
Life is like riding a bicycle. To keep your balance you must keep moving. A.E.
Reply
Guru

Join Date: Dec 2016
Posts: 2914
Good Answers: 115
#4

Re: These Sneaky Stink Bugs Could Ruin Your Wine

05/25/2017 9:27 PM

Okay, so GMO stink bugs to taste like a good Burgundy, a Pinot Noir, a Merlot, a nice robust Cab. Hey, why not?

Reply
Guru
Hobbies - DIY Welding - Wannabeabettawelda

Join Date: May 2007
Location: Annapolis, Maryland
Posts: 4063
Good Answers: 224
#5

Re: These Sneaky Stink Bugs Could Ruin Your Wine

05/25/2017 11:36 PM

Maybe there ARE some things I'd rather not know. Or after a few glasses of wine, won't care either. I might only have a couple of glasses of wine a year now anyways. So I guess my stinkbug compound percentage will be pretty low regardless.

Reply
Guru
Engineering Fields - Optical Engineering - Member Engineering Fields - Engineering Physics - Member Engineering Fields - Systems Engineering - Member

Join Date: Apr 2010
Location: Trantor
Posts: 5156
Good Answers: 612
#6

Re: These Sneaky Stink Bugs Could Ruin Your Wine

05/26/2017 10:15 AM

When I had dogs I would get maybe one or two stinkbugs in my house every week during the warm months of the year. Now that I've been dog-free for 3+ years I haven't seen a single stinkbug. I guess they road my dogs' fur when the dogs came in from outside.

__________________
Whiskey, women -- and astrophysics. Because sometimes a problem can't be solved with just whiskey and women.
Reply
Guru

Join Date: Jun 2009
Location: South of Minot North Dakota
Posts: 8338
Good Answers: 766
#7

Re: These Sneaky Stink Bugs Could Ruin Your Wine

05/26/2017 1:07 PM

Well then there is the other wine flavoring factor.

Wine aficionados are full of it and can't differentiate from a high priced and cheapo stuff if their lives depended on it.

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=5PeKcWCC-tw

Reply
Guru
Hobbies - DIY Welding - Wannabeabettawelda

Join Date: May 2007
Location: Annapolis, Maryland
Posts: 4063
Good Answers: 224
#9
In reply to #7

Re: These Sneaky Stink Bugs Could Ruin Your Wine

05/26/2017 4:59 PM

But you don't taste wine, you experience it. For some, spending a lot of money enhances their experience. It's a great country/world.

Reply
Guru

Join Date: Jun 2009
Location: South of Minot North Dakota
Posts: 8338
Good Answers: 766
#10
In reply to #7

Re: These Sneaky Stink Bugs Could Ruin Your Wine

05/27/2017 12:57 PM

I see my link has been reverted back to being the basic text from the automatic one I had.

Guess some wine snob moderator didn't like the truth.

Oh well, here it is again!

Wine snobs can't actually tell what's what.

Reply
Guru

Join Date: Apr 2008
Location: Chicago
Posts: 2129
Good Answers: 68
#11
In reply to #10

Re: These Sneaky Stink Bugs Could Ruin Your Wine

05/27/2017 4:48 PM

Completely true of money... Oops.. .. many things.. but put a $4 and a $14 cheeseburger and fries in front of me and I'll pick the 'better' one.. even blindfolded.. skills that have been honed..

__________________
High Tolerance is Beautiful
Reply
Guru

Join Date: Jun 2009
Location: South of Minot North Dakota
Posts: 8338
Good Answers: 766
#12
In reply to #11

Re: These Sneaky Stink Bugs Could Ruin Your Wine

05/27/2017 11:15 PM

Yea, I'll pick the one I like best every time too even if they are the same and I have to rate them as equal regardelss of what price they have associated with them.

Even if they came of the McDonald's value meal menu at 2 for $3! (which I buy often because they are both good and cheap. )

Reply
Guru

Join Date: Mar 2007
Location: at the beach in Florida
Posts: 18646
Good Answers: 1086
#8

Re: These Sneaky Stink Bugs Could Ruin Your Wine

05/26/2017 1:39 PM

Mad Dog 20-20....I think some old guy must make this in his backyard....probably in old bathtubs...

It's the worst....the best, is whatever you like...

__________________
Life is like riding a bicycle. To keep your balance you must keep moving. A.E.
Reply
Guru
Engineering Fields - Instrumentation Engineering - EE from the the Wilds of Pa.

Join Date: Feb 2006
Location: middle of nowhere, Pennsylvania
Posts: 2485
Good Answers: 57
#13

Re: These Sneaky Stink Bugs Could Ruin Your Wine

05/31/2017 3:51 PM

You just need to import some winter cold from the central and western northern tier counties of your state. Next time I see one up here in Laurel Highlands, it will be the first. I spend most of my free time on a bicycle out in the woods and fields, so if one was here, I would probably know.

What we are plagued with here is a bug mistakenly called a Lady Bug, as it is a yellowish orange, not red base color with black spots. In fall they are everywhere, and love to come into your house.

__________________
Remember when reading my post: (-1)^½ m (2)^½
Reply
Reply to Blog Entry 13 comments
Interested in this topic? By joining CR4 you can "subscribe" to
this discussion and receive notification when new comments are added.
Copy to Clipboard

Users who posted comments:

Andrew Westman (1); Brave Sir Robin (2); JE in Chicago (2); Phys (1); SolarEagle (2); sue (1); tcmtech (3); Usbport (1)

Previous in Blog: Is the Internet Stalking Us?   Next in Blog: California Drivers Are Saying Goodbye to Botts' Dots

Advertisement