What's Inside #WineWednesday: 3-Mercaptohexyl Acetate



What are some of the places you love to enjoy a nice glass of wine? We had a recent debate about which wine-vacations is better: Italy or Hawaii? Obviously there are wines perfect for each place and set of activities and meals that accompany the vacation, but if you’re leaning toward the tropical side just for the sake of picking one, we’ve got just the molecule for you. If you’re a fan of passion fruit or anything that transports you somewhere humid and sandy with just one sniff, meet 3-mercaptohexyl acetate.

Facing the Science:

Numbers + letters in words can get tricky. We know molecule names are a foreign language to most. Take another sniff of the calming scent of 3-mercaptohexyl acetate and relax. We’re here to show you these molecules (remember, ingredients) are the exact same molecules in your guava flavored health drink, your tropical flavored candy, and your glass of Napa Valley wine.

So, what’s in #WineWednesday:

Chemical Name: 3-Mercaptohexyl Acetate
Class: Thiol
Smell: Floral, fruity, passion fruit
Color: Colorless clear liquid

Uses: 3-mercaptohexyl acetate is used as an aroma molecule — it contributes scents that are floral, fruity, tropical and similar to black currant whenever it is added to a compound. Popular in Sauvignon, 3-mercaptohexyl acetate is often what you love about your dry, sweet wines. However, that’s just the beginning. When mixed with other molecules in the right ratios, the influence of 3-mercaptohexyl acetate becomes deeper and richer.

Where it’s found in nature: 3-mercaptohexyl acetate can be found naturally in two of the things you crave on a hot beach in the evening: guava and wine.

Product Goods: You’ll find 3-mercaptohexyl acetate in all of your tropical smelling goods, from soft candies, confectionary frosting and gum to perfume and shampoo! 3-mercaptohexyl acetate, though it a mouthful to say, is easy to detect even with the simple technology of your nose. So next time you are scoping out candles for your coffee table or enjoying shaved ice on one of these scorching summer days, if you sense a hint of blackberry or passion fruit, think of 3-mercaptohexyl acetate and be proud that you’re that much more of a chemist and flavor connoisseur! But we recommend practicing pronunciation a few times before you teach your friends.

Which would you prefer to have with you on an island? Your favorite Sauv Blanc? Or your favorite Verdejo?