isovaleric acid

7.5 mg per capsule

Isovaleric, like stale cheese or sweaty socks”

At low levels isovaleric acid can contribute to wine complexity but at higher concentrations it imparts an odour of stale cheese or sweaty socks. It is formed by contaminant Brettanomyces yeasts during maturation of wine, or as a result of spoilage after bottling.

Food grade | free from sensory impurities | extensively tested | safe to smell and taste.

Flavour cards

Flavour standard information

Technical specification

The best way to assess isovaleric flavour in wine is as follows. Cover the sample with your hand and swirl the glass to release the aroma. Remove your hand and take a single long sniff. Repeat as necessary.
Amount of flavour per capsule
7.5 mg per capsule
The flavour threshold of isovaleric acid in wine is 1 - 2.5 mg / l.
Isovaleric acid is formed by contaminant Brettanomyces during maturation of wine or as a result of spoilage in bottle.
Isovaleric acid Imparts an odour of stale cheese or sweaty socks. Growth of Brettanomyces can add complexity to the product. Excessive growth leads to spoilage, imparting a distinctive and undesirable ‘Brett’ character.
CAS registry number
The CAS registry number for isovaleric acid is 503-74-2.
Other names
  • 3-methylbutanoic acid
  • isobutyl formic acid
  • delphinic acid
  • dephinic acid
  • 3-methyl butanoic acid
  • 3-methyl butyric acid
  • beta-methyl butyric acid
  • 3-methylbutanoic acid
  • isopentanoic acid
  • isopropyl acetic acid
  • isovalerianic acid
When produced by Brettanomyces isovaleric acid often occurs together with other compounds, including acetic acid, ethyl acetate, and 4-ethyl phenol. A significant proportion of the population is relatively insensitive to this flavour.
Threshold distribution
Capsules per pot
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