[NAFEX] syrups. - Brix and sugar cont

Bob Kelly bkelly66 at bellsouth.net
Mon Oct 12 09:38:16 EDT 2009

Here's what wikipedia says:-----
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  ronounced /'t?rpi?n/ TUR-peen) are a large and varied class of hydrocarbons, produced primarily by a wide variety of plants, particularly conifers,[1] though also by some insects such as termites or swallowtail butterflies, which emit terpenes from their osmeterium.
  They are the major components of resin, and of turpentine produced from resin. The name "terpene" is derived from the word "turpentine". In addition to their roles as end-products in many organisms, terpenes are major biosynthetic building blocks within nearly every living creature. Steroids, for example, are derivatives of the triterpene squalene.

  When terpenes are modified chemically, such as by oxidation or rearrangement of the carbon skeleton, the resulting compounds are generally referred to as terpenoids. Some authors will use the term terpene to include all terpenoids. Terpenoids are also known as Isoprenoids.

  Terpenes and terpenoids are the primary constituents of the essential oils of many types of plants and flowers. Essential oils are used widely as natural flavor additives for food, as fragrances in perfumery, and in traditional and alternative medicines such as aromatherapy. Synthetic variations and derivatives of natural terpenes and terpenoids also greatly expand the variety of aromas used in perfumery and flavors used in food additives. Vitamin A is an example of a terpene.

  Terpenes are released by trees more actively in warmer weather, acting as a natural form of cloud seeding. The clouds reflect sunlight, allowing the forest to regulate its temperature.[2]

   Original Message ----- 
  From: Kieran &/or Donna 
  To: North American Fruit Explorers 
  Sent: Monday, October 12, 2009 8:19 AM
  Subject: Re: [NAFEX] syrups. - Brix and sugar cont

  Yuck, high tannins, what a thought.  I was wondering if acids could do it.  Of course such a fruit would have it's uses.  One small kainth per gallon of peach wine would probably make it quite astringent enough.  But I am intrigued.  
      Some farmers are using the brix of their crop leaves to tell them when either too much or too little rain is stressing their crop to the point that they need to do something.  I had assumed that brix meant sugar content, but if it includes other things, it probably implies that the plant is making and moving things that it needs to protect itself.  I don't think that tannins are what they are looking for as most of our food crop plants don't seem to have particularly high tannins.  Hmmmm.... in plants that do make tannins, they go up not down when there is injury.  Take oak trees attacked by gypsy moths, they can run the tannins so high that the caterpillars are unable to eat or digest the leaves.  The other reason why I don't think the brix readings on field crops shows tannins is that in general a healthy plant tastes better than one that's had too much or too little rain.  They go from watery on the one hand to bitter on the other hand.  In carrots or broccoli, the bitterness is from "terpenes".   Anyone know what they are?  Donna 


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