Fruits, 2016, vol. 71(4), 215-220
The cultivation of underutilized berries and the process production of high-value-added products, such as fruit-based spirits, could have a beneficial effect on the economy of disadvantaged rural mountain areas of Spain. However, production of a distilled alcoholic beverage from the blueberry has not been reported before. The pulp of blueberries var. Bluecrop was fermented with Saccharomyces cerevisiae IFI83, distilled by using a steam drag distillation system and the volatile compounds were determined by gas chromatography. In the distillate obtained, the mean concentrations of ethanol (45.3 mL 100 mL-1 distillate), volatile substances (317.1 g hL-1 absolute alcohol) and methanol (261.0 g hL-1 absolute alcohol) were in accordance with the specifications that the European Council (Regulation 110/2008) fixed for these compounds. In addition, the ratios [3-methyl-1-butanol/2-methyl-1-propanol] and [2-methyl-1-propanol/1-propanol] were 2.60 and 1.34, respectively, indicating that the distilled alcoholic beverage has a good organoleptic quality. The results suggest that blueberry can be successfully used for the production of a novel spirit with a good sensory quality that is safe for the consumers.