Rapid assessment of grapes prior to harvest to quantify fungal off-flavours and product composition


Harvest decisions are often pressured by harvest, transport and winery logistics and the need to coordinate with ripening of other grape varieties. Vintage compression, late rains and the associated mould growth and off-flavours add to the problem. Rapid objective methods to assess grape quality and mould taints would help decision-making and grading of grapes but currently no methods exist.


This project will develop in-field assessment of grape quality, composition and fungal taint compounds. The work builds upon our expertise for quantifying volatiles linked to grape fungal infection and will extend to volatiles linked to wine faults and taints. New instrumentation will aid growers and winemakers to ensure quality, thereby offering better wine to consumers, but could be applied more broadly to other horticultural crops.


Key outputs from this project

Research Articles

Jiang, L., Qiu, Y., Dumlao, M. C., Donald, W. A., Steel, C. C., & Schmidtke, L. M. (2023) Detection and prediction of Botrytis cinerea infection levels in wine grapes using volatile. Food Chemistry, 421, 136120. https://doi.org/10.1016/j.foodchem.2023.136120

Jiang, L., Dumlao, M. C., Donald, W. A., Steel, C. C., & Schmidtke, L. M. (2023) Rapid in-field volatile sampling for detection of Botrytis cinerea infection in wine grapes. Molecules202328(13), 5227; https://doi.org/10.3390/molecules28135227


Project leader

Leigh Schmidtke
Charles Sturt University

Research Associates

Morphy Dumlao
(Research Associate)
Charles Sturt University


Liang Jiang
(PhD Student)
Charles Sturt University

Other investigators

Suzy Rogiers

Industry partners

NSW Department of Primary Industries

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