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Term (gr. for "water solution/dissolution") for a chemical reaction between organic or inorganic compounds with water. Characteristic of organic substances is the presence of a catalyst such as acids or bases. Hydrolysis plays an important role in the splitting of fats, cellulose, proteins, esters, sucrose and starch. For example, the fining agent gelatine is produced from animal collagen-containing material. During fermentation of the must, hydrolysis converts esters into acids and alcohol, and glycosides into sugars and phenols. During the bottle maturing or ageing of a wine, the slow splitting of glycosides leads to the release of substances previously bound to them and thus to changes in taste and smell. The tertiary aroma (ripening aroma) is formed by the released aromatic substances. See also under Invertase.

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