Prospect on Ionomic Signatures for the Classification of Grapevine Berries According to Their Geographical Origin
Dal Santo S
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The determination of food geographical origin has been an important subject of study over the past decade, with an increasing number of analytical techniques being developed to determine the provenance of agricultural products. Agricultural soils can differ for the composition and the relative quantities of mineral nutrients and trace elements whose bioavailability depends on soil properties. Therefore, the ionome of fruits, vegetables and derived products can reflect the mineral composition of the growth substrate. Multi-elemental analysis has been successfully applied to trace the provenance of wines from different countries or different wine-producing regions. However, winemaking process and environmental and cultural conditions may affect a geographical fingerprint. In this article, we discuss the possibility of applying ionomics in wines classification on a local scale and also by exploiting grape berry analyses. In this regard, we present the ionomic profile of grapevine berries grown within an area of approximately 300 km(2) and the subsequent application of chemometric methods for the assignment of their geographical origin. The best discrimination was obtained by using a dataset composed only of rare earth elements. Considering the experiences reported in the literature and our results, we concluded that sample representativeness and the application of a preliminary Principal Component Analysis, as pattern recognition techniques, might represent two necessary starting points for the geographical determination of the geographical origin of grape berries; therefore, on the basis of these observations we also include some recommendations to be considered for future application of these techniques for grape and wines classification.