Charles Sturt University
Charles Sturt University

Honours Scholarship

The National Wine & Grape industry Centre Honours Scholarships aim to support high quality students undertaking a research project  as part of an Honours year. This scholarship has a total value of $5,000 comprising $3,000 stipend for the student and $2,000 operating funds to support the project.

The following projects are proposed:

Project 1:

The measurement of total sulfur dioxide concentrations in wine by flow injection analysis in the presence of high glutathione concentrations. Supervisors - John Blackman, Leigh Schmidtke, Andrew Clark.

Sulfur dioxide is the main preservative in wine and total concentrations in wine are regulated due to implications to consumer health. Flow injection analysis has become more common in the analysis of total sulfur dioxide concentrations in white wine. However, it is known that certain sulfur compounds can interfere in the colorimetric reaction utilised in the flow injection analysis system. Furthermore, certain strains of yeasts have been developed to afford high concentrations of the antioxidant and sulfur compound glutathione in the final wine. This project will investigate the impact of high concentrations of glutathione on the measured total sulfur dioxide concentration via flow injection analysis, and the ability to prevent any interference.

Project 2:

The products formed during the anaerobic degradation  of ascorbic acid in wine conditions. Supervisors - Celia Barril, Andrew Clark

The anaerobic decay of ascorbic acid in the presence of skin derived phenolic compounds in wine is known to generate a variety of products. This project will utilise high temperatures to accelerate the anaerobic degradation of ascorbic acid and allow the formation of latter products. The products will be identified utilising LCMS techniques and, where possible, isolation of products will occur for offsite analysis by NMR.

Project 3:

Noval Derivatisation liquid chromatography method for the quantification of hydrogen sulfide in aqueous and wine samples. Supervisors - Andrew Clark, Celia Barril

This project will afford the development of a high performance liquid chromatography (HPLC) or ultra high performance liquid chromatography (UHPLC) method for the analysis of hydrogen sulfide in aqueous and wine samples. The method will involve the derivatisation of hydrogen sulfide with a quinone and detection of the resulting hydroxybenzenethiol. The project will determine the repeatability, limit of detection, limit of quantification and recoveries in quantifying hydrogen sulfide as well as comparing its measurement to those of established methods.

Project 4:

Ergosterol as a biomarker for fungal contamination of horticultural fruit crops. Supervisors – Chris Steel, Yu (Micahel) Qiu

Aside from causing yield losses, fungal pathogens of horticultural food crops have a detrimental impact on food quality. This project will investigate the feasibility of measuring ergosterol (a fungal sterol) to quantify fungal rots in fruit crops.

Project 5:

Late season N application on berry juice composition, winter reserves and next season development. Supervisor - Bruno Holzapfel

This project will evaluate the effect of different timings of N application on carbohydrate and N reserves in the perennial structure. In addition, the study will assess the influence of the different timings of N application on berry composition and the impact on the early development in the following season.

Project 6:

Chemical assessment of Australian Shiraz . Identification of "Terroir" . Supervisors -  Leigh Schmidtke, John Blackman

This project aims to analyse the chemical composition of premium and icon Shiraz wines using untargeted chemical analysis and data processing techniques. The general purpose of the study is to develop methodologies for high throughput analysis viz: sample preparation, preparation of standards, optimised instrumentation, data collection and statistical analysis.  This project will require analytical chemistry skills and involve use of solid phase extraction workstations; GCMS; GCqTOF instruments and software.