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Pairing Up for the Party Season: The Chemistry Behind the Perfect Food and Wine Pairings

The party season is approaching, and once again chemists have offered the world a gift: the science behind the perfect food and wine pairings. For those who would like to progress beyond “red with steak” and “white with fish,”  there is now peer-reviewed research that may help inform a nuanced and elegant choice for every meal.

Whether you are a seasoned connoisseur or an enthusiastic amateur, you are likely well aware that the taste of wine can differ depending on the types of foods you consume with it. Despite an abundance of food pairing hypotheses over the years, there has traditionally been no supporting evidence or studies to examine the rationale, and many remained skeptical that there would be any scientific basis to support individual sensory experiences or preferences.

But just in time for your holiday menu planning, recent research has revealed some of the underlying chemistry behind why some wines and foods (cheese, anyone?) seem to be made for each other—and why some pairings may not work as harmoniously as others.1

The Tannin Tamer: How Lipids Work to Balance Bitterness

Wine, along with many other food products, contains both volatile and non-volatile compounds. Volatile compounds such as thiols contribute to a wine’s aroma, but it is the non-volatile substances that are responsible for taste and mouthfeel. These compounds may be affected by components such as alcohol, sugar, acid, polysaccharides, nucleic acids, and—most notably—phenolic compounds such as tannins, which are commonly associated with the bitterness, astringency, and complexity of red wine.2,3

Many flavor precursors can also derive from other ingredients such as yeasts, as well as containers and vessels—for example, traditional oak barrels.4 However, there is one previously overlooked chemical component that could hold the key to understanding more subtle aspects of wine flavor: lipids.

To further understand the interaction between lipids and wine tannins—and potentially uncover why wine and cheese go so well together—researchers from the University of Bordeaux (in the famous wine region of France) conducted a twofold approach using both biophysical methods and sensory analysis.1

First, they observed the behavior of lipids in an oil–water emulsion after mixing in catechin, a primary component of grape tannins. This resulted in the lipid droplets absorbing the catechin at the membrane surface, increasing in size and producing a “creaming” effect in the upper phase of the emulsion.

These molecular findings were reinforced by the sensory analysis which demonstrated that certain dietary oils, such as grapeseed oil, decreased or even eliminated perceived tannin astringency, while others like olive oil made the wine taste fruity instead of bitter.

This study further validates lipids—such as the fats in cheese, meat, and other charcuterie board favorites—as crucial molecular agents that can both soften the bitter taste of wine and enhance its flavor profile by attracting tannins to their surfaces (and away from your bitter taste receptors).

Lipids are also naturally present within wine itself, although in very low concentrations. A team at Oregon State University (also in a prominent wine region of the U.S.) examined how lipids in wine contribute to taste and mouthfeel by adding various food-grade lipids to a model wine solution. Of the lipids tested, phospholipids most noticeably contributed to an increase in perceived viscosity while also masking bitterness.5

Further research in this area is needed to better understand the full range of effects of lipids on taste and mouthfeel—but there is great potential for winemakers to one day successfully alter lipid composition during the processing phase, yielding wines that are naturally less bitter and more appealing to consumers who desire softer, more mellow flavors.

Red vs. White: Ironing Out the Differences 

So, is there a scientific basis for the original red/white divide when it comes to seafood? Well, possibly. It turns out red wine has more ferrous (iron(II)-containing) ions compared to white wine, as a function of the materials used in the processing. Controlled experiments showed that wines higher in iron can promote lipid oxidation of the unsaturated fatty acids found in fish and seafood, generating an unpleasant associated retronasal smell.

Although iron vessels are less often used in modern processes for red wine, there is no easy way to gauge a wine’s iron content without tasting it first. There are numerous factors beyond wine type that can influence iron content—from soil composition to fermentation processes—making it tricky for a consumer to identify any potential unsavory food pairings just by looking at the label alone.6

But iron-heavy red wines aren’t the only culprit when it comes to unpleasant taste perceptions associated with seafood pairings. Researchers in Japan demonstrated that white wines containing sulfur dioxide (SO2), a sulfite commonly used for wine preservation, resulted in an “off-odor” and undesirable taste when paired with seafood containing high amounts of polyunsaturated fatty acids.7

After adding DHA—a polyunsaturated fat present in seafoods such as dried squid and mackerel—to various white wine and sake samples, the team observed accelerated rates of DHA oxidation in the SO2-heavy wines, resulting in a malodorous smell and taste.

The scientists speculate that the widely followed “white wine with fish” tradition may be more accurately applied to seafood pairings such as whitefish, shrimp, crab, and other options that contain lower levels of these fatty acids. Even so, it is now easier than ever to find sulfite-free wines—which, in addition to those with sulfite sensitivities, may be a preferred option for consumers who want to ensure a delicious white wine pairing regardless of fish or seafood choice.

A Matter of Taste

Understanding the science behind wine’s interaction with various compounds on a molecular level can help to better inform many components of wine culture, from perfect food pairings at your next holiday gathering to modifications in grape cultivation and processing. But as the sensory analyses in these studies show, everyone has different preferences and perceptions when it comes to flavor, taste, and mouthfeel—and wine is no exception. Ultimately, if it tastes good to you, go with it. Cheers!

Read More Articles About the Chemistry of Wine from ACS Journals

  1. Gambetta, J. et al. Factors Influencing the Aroma Composition of Chardonnay Wines. J. Agric. Food Chem. 2014, 62, 28, 6512–6534
  2. Begum, P. et al. Development of an Electrochemical Sensing System for Wine Component Analysis. ACS Food Sci. Technol. 2021, 1, 11, 2030–2040
  3. Maioli, F. et al. Monitoring of Sangiovese Red Wine Chemical and Sensory Parameters along One-Year Aging in Different Tank Materials and Glass Bottle. ACS Food Sci. Technol. 2022, 2, 2, 221–239
  4. Hofmann, T. and Hufnagel, J. C. Quantitative Reconstruction of the Nonvolatile Sensometabolome of a Red Wine. J. Agric. Food Chem. 2008, 56, 4, 1376–1386
  5. Li, S. et al. Use of Winemaking Supplements To Modify the Composition and Sensory Properties of Shiraz Wine. J. Agric. Food Chem. 2017, 65, 7, 1353–1364


  1. Saad, A. et al. New Insights into Wine Taste: Impact of Dietary Lipids on Sensory Perceptions of Grape Tannins. J. Agric. Food Chem. 2021, 69, 10, 3165–3174
  2. Hufnagel, J. C. and Hofmann, T. Orosensory-Directed Identification of Astringent Mouthfeel and Bitter-Tasting Compounds in Red Wine. J. Agric. Food Chem. 2008, 56, 4, 1376–1386
  3. Jackson, R. S. Wine Tasting: A Professional Handbook. Academic Press 2017.
  4. Parker, M. et al. Aroma Precursors in Grapes and Wine: Flavor Release during Wine Production and Consumption. J. Agric. Food Chem. 2018, 66, 10, 2281–2286
  5. Phan, Q. et al. Contribution of Lipids to Taste and Mouthfeel Perception in a Model Wine Solution. ACS Food Sci. Technol. 2021, 1, 9, 1561–1566
  6. Tamura, T. et al. Iron Is an Essential Cause of Fishy Aftertaste Formation in Wine and Seafood Pairing. J. Agric. Food Chem. 2009, 57, 18, 8550–8556
  7. Fujita, A. et al. Effects of Sulfur Dioxide on Formation of Fishy Off-Odor and Undesirable Taste in Wine Consumed with Seafood. J. Agric. Food Chem.2010, 58, 7, 4414–4420

Call for Papers: AI for Synthetic Biology

Synthetic biology has been successfully used to design biological systems with new and improved functions. However, due to the complexity of biological systems, performing synthetic biology in a quantitative and predictive manner still remains a challenge. In recent years, artificial intelligence (AI) and machine learning (ML) that allow computers to learn from experience has emerged as a potentially powerful tool to address this challenge.

A new Virtual Special Issue from ACS Synthetic Biology will focus on this dynamic topic, including contributions that develop and apply AI and ML tools for synthetic biology applications. The issue will be led by Editor-in-Chief Huimin Zhao with Guest Editors Hector Garcia-Martin and Stanislav Mazurenko.

Relevant topics include:

  • AI/ML algorithms relevant to synthetic biology
  • AI/ML-guided peptide, protein, and antibody engineering
  • AI/ML-guided metabolic engineering
  • AI/ML for plant, microbial, and mammalian synthetic biology
  • AI/ML for bioprocess development
  • AI/ML for systems biology

Author Instructions:

To submit your manuscript, please visit the ACS Synthetic Biology website. Please follow the normal procedures for manuscript submission, and when in the ACS Paragon Plus submission site, select the special issue of “AI for Synthetic Biology.” All manuscripts will undergo the normal peer review process. For additional submission instructions, please see the ACS Synthetic Biology Author Guidelines.

The deadline for submissions is March 31, 2023.

Learn More About How to Submit

Meet the Winners of the 2022 Portoghese Lectureship Awards

The Editors of Journal of Medicinal Chemistry (JMC), ACS Medicinal Chemistry Letters (MCL), and the ACS Division of Medicinal Chemistry (MEDI) are pleased to announce the winners of the 2022 Philip S. Portoghese Journal of Medicinal Chemistry/ACS Medicinal Chemistry Letters/Division of Medicinal Chemistry Joint Lectureship Awards:

  • Young Investigator: Michael Bollong, The Scripps Research Institute, USA
  • Senior Medicinal Chemist: Kip Guy, University of Kentucky, USA

These annual awards are named in honor of Professor Phil Portoghese who served as Editor-in-Chief of JMC from 1972 to 2011 and are presented at ACS Fall. The Young Investigator Award is given to a researcher who has displayed impact and/or promise of impact to the field of medicinal chemistry. The Senior Medicinal Chemist Award is given to an established scientist whose work has had a profound impact on the field and practice of medicinal chemistry.

If you’re attending ACS Fall 2022 in Chicago, you’re invited to come see the winners speak at the award symposium, which will be hosted by MEDI on Sunday, August 21, 2 p.m. to 5:45 p.m. in room W182 of the McCormick Place Convention Center.

Read on to learn more about the winners.

Michael Bollong

Dr. Michael Bollong

Michael J. Bollong is the Early Career Endowed Roon Chair for Cardiovascular Research and an assistant professor in the Department of Chemistry at The Scripps Research Institute in La Jolla, California.

We asked Dr. Bollong to tell us more about himself. The answers he gave are below.

What inspired you to pursue your area of research?

It was the fantastic science being done here at Scripps Research, which made want to become a scientist and which established my laboratory’s initial research trajectory. As an undergraduate, I had the unique opportunity to work in the laboratory of Pete Schultz. At the time, we were identifying small molecules that could aid in the reprogramming of fibroblasts into induced pluripotent stem cells. Seeing that a cell’s fate can be fundamentally changed by a drug like small molecule was a watershed moment for me, one that ultimately catalyzed my career-long interest in developing small molecules for regenerative medicine.

Describe a key turning point in your research.

While I have always had interest in manipulating the fate of cells with drug like small molecules, it was during my experience as the inaugural Scripps Fellow that changed how my laboratory thinks about developing drugs for regenerative medicine. During this period, my group and I were able to explore a key question: Can we identify chemical matter that promotes regenerative organ repair via induced proliferation? The profound physiological effects these molecules were inducing lead us to focus on this paradigm almost exclusively in the laboratory.

If you weren’t a medicinal chemist, what would you be?

Getting to explore the unknown is what I value most about being a scientist. If I couldn’t explore cells using chemistry, I imagine I would satisfy this desire for discovery in the ‘macro world’ by being an archeologist or deep-sea explorer.

R. Kip Guy

Dr. R. Kip GuyR. Kip Guy is the Dean of the College of Pharmacy and a professor in the Pharmaceutical Science Department at the University of Kentucky in Lexington.

We asked Dr. Guy to tell us more about himself. The answers he gave are below.

What inspired you to pursue your area of research?

Dr. Guy shared this video from 2018 where he answered this question.

Describe a key turning point in your research.

A key turning point in my research was a collaboration with Joe DeRisi’s lab at UCSF where we developed methods for studying the effects of drugs on living co-cultures of malaria. We originally did that to study mechanism, but the methods were eventually adapted to both lead identification and lead optimization.

This approach allowed us to develop and optimize potent, selective, and bioavailable compounds without understanding their mechanism. It became the foundation for the candidate we have in Phase 2 for the treatment of malaria and paved the road for similar developments in a wide range of diseases.

If you weren’t a medicinal chemist, what would you be?

If I weren’t a medicinal chemist, I think I would be an architect/builder or a cabinet maker. I enjoy the interplay of design, engineering, and working with my hands that comes with all three of those jobs; and they play well to my skills of three-dimensional visualization.


ACS Materials Spotlight to disseminate advances in materials science

ACS Materials Spotlight is a series of hybrid scientific events initiated by the ACS Publications. Materials are and will continue to play a substantial role in sustainable development, mitigating climate change, addressing human health needs, and meeting our infrastructure and security needs. ACS Publications is pleased to introduce ACS Materials Spotlight as a platform to share knowledge, facilitate dialogue between researchers, promote recent advances in materials research, and evolve the research areas and trends. ACS materials portfolio will collaborate with top research institutions to host the academic events. The most elite materials scientists will spotlight the latest groundbreaking and emerging research and in new ways to bring the community together.

The ACS Materials Spotlight: Smart Molecules focuses on molecules exhibiting curious and desirable response to any environmental stimuli, which will be hosted by Dalian University of Technology on August 12th, 2022. Please visit the Webinar page to learn more details https://connect.acspubs.org/ACSMaterialsSpotlight.

The first event ACS Materials Spotlight: Energy Chemistry and Materials hosted by Wuhan University of Technology (WUT) was held on July 16th, 2022. Professors Bruce Dunn (University of California), Dongyuan Zhao (Fudan University), Patrice Simon (Université Paul Sabatier), Edman Tsang (University of Oxford), Liqiang Mai (WUT), Tao Wang (WUT), Qiang Zhang (Tsinghua University), Guangjin Hou (Dalian Institute of Chemical Physics, Chinese Academy of Sciences), Fuzhi Huang (WUT) delivered scientific talks during the event and garnered 62k online and on-site participants.

Virtual Collections across ACS journals were created to inspire future research in various areas of materials:

  • John Goodenough at 100


  • Nanoscience and Nanotechnology at Jilin University: A Virtual Issue


  • Materials Innovation for Global Water Sustainability


  • Recent Advances in Hydrogels


  • Sustainable Polymers


Discover more ACS journals in Materials Portfolio by visiting ACS Publications website at https://pubs.acs.org/.

Dr. Candice Crilly wins the 2022 Gordon Hammes Scholar Award

Dr. Candice Crilly

The Gordon Hammes Scholar Award honors young scientists responsible for the very best papers published in Biochemistry. The winner of this year’s award is Dr. Candice Crilly, from The University of California, Santa Barbara. She will present the Gordon Hammes Scholar Award Lecture during the ACS Spring 2023 Meeting & Exposition March 26 – 30 in Indianapolis, IN

Established in 2017 and awarded alongside the Gordon Hammes Lectureship Award, the Scholar Award seeks to recognize those at the bench – undergraduates, graduate students and postdocs – for the outstanding work they do. The award is sponsored jointly by Biochemistry and the ACS Division of Biological Chemistry.

Crilly was selected as the 2022 winner based on her 2021 article, “Dried Protein Structure Revealed at the Residue Level by Liquid-Observed Vapor Exchange NMR,” co-authored with Julia A. Brom, Mark E. Kowalewski, Samantha Piszkiewicz, and Gary J. Pielak.

“Candice developed a technique called LOVE NMR (yes, it’s true), where LOVE stands for Liquid-Observed Vapor Exchange. This method provides residue-level information on the structure and interactions of dehydrated proteins. It was used to study how mutation affects dry protein structure, and will help scientists develop a more complete understanding of how dehydration impacts protein structure and function. She is a fantastic choice for the Gordon Hammes Scholar Award,” said Biochemistry Editor-in-Chief Alanna Schepartz.

Read a brief interview with Gordon Hammes Scholar Award Winner, Dr. Candice Crilly

Can you give us a short overview of the research you are currently undertaking?

I am currently working as a post-doctoral researcher in Professor Songi Han’s lab at the University of California, Santa Barbara, where I’m using magnetic resonance techniques to study ice-binding proteins and polymers. Specifically, I am using EPR and a specialized NMR relaxometry technique known as Overhauser Dynamic Nuclear Polarization (ODNP) to understand how ice-binding molecules impact local water dynamics, which we hope will shed light on how these fascinating molecules recognize and bind ice when they are surrounded by a molecule so similar – liquid water. Gaining an atomistic-level understanding how these highly effective antifreeze molecules bind ice would inform the rational design of improved antifreeze molecules, which could be used to extend the shelf-life of tissues for organ transplant recipients.

What’s one piece of advice you’d give to someone just entering the field?

Don’t give up – take a vacation instead.

To elaborate…

Research in biophysics and biochemistry can be tremendously exciting, but in my experience, the majority of one’s time is spent preparing for – or troubleshooting – an experiment. Thus, to get ground-breaking results, you have to be patient, persistent, and resourceful. But if you ever feel like you’ve tried everything and your research is still going nowhere, don’t give up on your project just yet – take a vacation instead. Giving yourself space and time to relax, reflect, and perhaps even dive into the literature may yield a solution to your research problem(s) – vacation epiphanies rescued my research several times during my Ph.D.!

Is there anyone who has been a great role model, mentor, or inspiration to you?

There are many, many people who have mentored and inspired me on my scientific journey, but today I’ll just name four of them:

Dr. Gary J. Pielak, my Ph.D. advisor, who spent countless hours mentoring me on how to be a good scientist, colleague, and writer. Gary helped me identify areas in which I could improve, pushed me to do better, and gave me ample opportunities to build my skillset as an academic.

Dr. Songi Han, my current advisor, who has shown me how to run a research group that not only does basic biology research, but also builds the tools necessary to advance the frontiers of science. Watching her lead so many different projects and spark up collaborations between the hardware-development- and biology-sides of her lab has inspired me to keep my research as interdisciplinary and collaborative as possible.

And finally, my parents, who instilled in me the creativity and self-confidence necessary to overcome the many hurdles one faces while pursuing a career in scientific research.

ACS Materials Au: Call for papers Virtual Special Issue on Innovations in Bioengineering

Recent advances in bioengineering have enabled innovative solutions that have the possibility to revolutionize health care. Personalized medical therapies, ultrasensitive biosensors, and biofabricated tissues are tantalizingly close.

ACS Materials Au will publish a virtual special issue to showcase the range and depth of new materials and devices, and their many applications. We invite Articles, Letters, Reviews, or Perspectives on all topics relating to biomaterials and bioengineering, including (but not limited to):

  • Natural, synthetic, hybrid, and bioinspired materials
  • Properties and applications of materials in biology, medicine, agriculture, and veterinary science
  • Novel devices, delivery systems, diagnostics, and their applications
  • Needs, challenges, and opportunities for the biomaterials and bioengineering communities

Guest Editors

  • Maryam Badv, Department of Biomedical Engineering, University of Calgary, Canada
  • Ali Khademhosseini, Terasaki Institute for Biomedical Innovation, USA
  • Paul S. Weiss, University of California, Los Angeles, USA

How to submit

To submit for this special issue, log in to the ACS Paragon Plus submission site, and choose ACS Materials Au as your journal. Select your manuscript type, and, under the ‘Special Issue Selection,’ choose ‘Innovations in Bioengineering.’

All articles will be peer reviewed prior to acceptance to ensure they fit the scope of the virtual special issue and meet the high scientific publishing standards of ACS Materials Au. Accepted papers will go online as soon as possible after acceptance and be published in the next available issue. In Spring 2023, the publications on this topic will be gathered into a virtual special issue on a dedicated webpage and be promoted as a collection.

Please see our Author Guidelines for more information on submission requirements. The deadline for submissions is 31 December 2022.

JCED: Three Things We Want Authors to Know

The Journal of Chemical & Engineering Data’s Editor-in-Chief, Ilja Siepmann, would like to highlight three items all prospective JCED authors should know, but may be underappreciated, as part of the journal’s efforts to continuously improve.


Author Guidelines simply should not be viewed as something that can be ignored. JCED has both general guidelines applying to all manuscripts and guidelines specific to the topical section(s) appropriate for your manuscript’s content. As some are aware, five thematic sections were introduced for JCED’s table of contents in 2022. Your efforts to align with these guidelines will not only expedite the review process for your manuscript and increase the likelihood of acceptance for publication in JCED, but will ultimately lead to your research publications providing accurate, precise, reproducible, and consequential data that will have a greater impact. For example, JCED requires a chemical sample table for all manuscripts. Forgetting to include the sample table is the clearest signal to an editor that authors have neither read the JCED guidelines nor utilized the 1-page submission checklist as a cheat sheet. You would be amazed to know the fraction of manuscripts submitted without a chemical sample table and the rather low acceptance rate for these manuscripts.

Especially for new JCED authors or previous authors that have not submitted a manuscript during the past year, please read and familiarize yourself with the complete JCED Author Guidelines to ensure you are up to date. This will surely increase the likelihood for a smooth peer review process.


As some of you are aware, JCED adopted a new design in 2021. The new cover design features eye-catching and informative artwork supplied by our authors that allows you to draw attention to your research work. Did you know there is NO fee for artwork featured on the front cover of ACS journals? A front cover is completely free for authors (the fee only pertains to author requested supplementary covers). However, there are cover art guidelines relating to theme and formatting expectations. At present, an estimated 80% of the cover art proposals are identical to the TOC graphic, which is no longer JCED’s approach. Our cover art guidelines describe, “The cover image should not resemble a graphical abstract or data figure, but rather should be an artistic and scientifically accurate representation of the manuscript.” Following the Guidelines increases the chance of having your artwork selected for the front cover by a huge margin.


When selecting a journal for submission of your manuscript, it is important to peruse the description of the journal’s scope to ensure you are targeting the best journal. JCED’s scope description can be found here. Fast track your manuscript toward acceptance by selecting a best-fit journal from the start. Please note that manuscripts with a focus on reaction kinetics, adsorption kinetics, adsorption on natural product materials or micellization/aggregation behavior of amphiphiles, or that predict properties via a correlation approach (including machine learning), are not in JCED’s scope. The likelihood for acceptance of these submitted topics is low as a result.


Whether you might be considering the Journal of Chemical & Engineering Data for a submission for the first time or have published with us many times before, take stock of these three things we want all authors to know. The EIC office will be happy to address questions and provide more information as needed ( eic@jced.acs.org ).

ACS Publications at the MACRO 2022 Conference


ACS Publications’ journals publish high-quality articles in impactful publications from top authors around the globe. With a comprehensive portfolio of more than 75 journals, including 12 fully open access journals, ACS Publications has a home for every type of article.

A division of the American Chemical Society, ACS Publications supports researchers through journals, eBooks, scientific programs, and the news magazine Chemical & Engineering News. With a comprehensive portfolio of more than 75 journals, including 12 “gold” completely open access journals, ACS Publications has a home for every variety of research.

Learn more about ACS Polymer journals


Biomacromolecules is a leading forum for the dissemination of cutting-edge research at the interface of polymer science and biology. Submissions to Biomacromolecules should contain strong elements of innovation in terms of macromolecular design, synthesis and characterization, or in the application of polymer materials to biology and medicine.

Topics covered by Biomacromolecules include, but are not exclusively limited to: sustainable polymers, polymers based on natural and renewable resources, degradable polymers, polymer conjugates, polymeric drugs, polymers in biocatalysis, biomacromolecular assembly, biomimetic polymers, polymer-biomineral hybrids, biomimetic-polymer processing, polymer recycling, bioactive polymer surfaces, original polymer design for biomedical applications such as immunotherapy, drug delivery, gene delivery, antimicrobial applications, diagnostic imaging and biosensing, polymers in tissue engineering and regenerative medicine, polymeric scaffolds and hydrogels for cell culture and delivery.


Macromolecules publishes original, fundamental, and impactful research on all aspects of polymer science. Topics of interest include synthesis (e.g., controlled polymerizations, polymerization catalysis, post polymerization modification, new monomer structures and polymer architectures, and polymerization mechanisms/kinetics analysis); phase behavior, thermodynamics, dynamic, and ordering/disordering phenomena (e.g., self-assembly, gelation, crystallization, solution/melt/solid-state characteristics); structure and properties (e.g., mechanical and rheological properties, surface/interfacial characteristics, electronic and transport properties); new state of the art characterization (e.g., spectroscopy, scattering, microscopy, rheology), simulation (e.g., Monte Carlo, molecular dynamics, multi-scale/coarse-grained modeling), and theoretical methods. Renewable/sustainable polymers, polymer networks, responsive polymers, electro-, magneto- and opto-active macromolecules, inorganic polymers, charge-transporting polymers (ion-containing, semiconducting, and conducting), nanostructured polymers, and polymer composites are also of interest. Typical papers published in Macromolecules showcase important and innovative concepts, experimental methods/observations, and theoretical/computational approaches that demonstrate a fundamental advance in the understanding of polymers.

ACS Macro Letters

ACS Macro Letters publishes research in all areas of contemporary soft matter science in which macromolecules play a key role, including nanotechnology, self-assembly, supramolecular chemistry, biomaterials, energy generation and storage, and renewable/sustainable materials. Submissions to ACS Macro Letters should justify clearly the rapid disclosure of the key elements of the study. The scope of the journal includes high-impact research of broad interest in all areas of polymer science and engineering, including cross-disciplinary research that interfaces with polymer science.

With the launch of ACS Macro Letters, all Communications that were formerly published in Macromolecules and Biomacromolecules will be published as Letters in ACS Macro Letters.

ACS Applied Polymer Materials

ACS Applied Polymer Materials is an interdisciplinary journal publishing original research covering all aspects of engineering, chemistry, physics, and biology relevant to applications of polymers.

The journal is devoted to reports of new and original experimental and theoretical research of an applied nature that integrates fundamental knowledge in the areas of materials, engineering, physics, bioscience, polymer science and chemistry into important polymer applications. The journal is specifically interested in work that addresses relationships among structure, processing, morphology, chemistry, properties, and function as well as work that provide insights into mechanisms critical to the performance of the polymer for applications. Sample research topics that span the journal’s scope are polymer applications in energy storage and conversion, separations, membranes, adhesives, functional coatings, sensing, adaptive and reconfigurable materials, electronics, photonics, biomaterials, and nanocomposites. The journal also considers novel approaches to the synthesis of new and existing polymers that are designed for specific applications.

With its focus on applications, ACS Applied Polymer Materials not only complements ACS Applied Materials & Interfaces, but also the portfolio of existing ACS publications on fundamental materials science discovery, including Chemistry of Materials, Langmuir, Biomacromolecules, Macromolecules, ACS Macro Letters, The Journal of Physical Chemistry B/C, and Journal of Physical Chemistry Letters.

ACS Polymers Au 

ACS Polymers Au is an open access journal, which publishes original, cutting-edge and impactful research on all aspects of polymer science and related cross-disciplinary areas.

The journal publishes all areas of macromolecular and soft matter science and their applications, including polymer synthesis and modification, polymer characterization, nanotechnology, self-assembly, supramolecular chemistry, energy generation and storage, electronics, photonics, sensing, adaptive materials, membranes, renewable and sustainable materials, biomaterials and biomedical applications of polymers.

Submissions should highlight innovation and advances in the fundamental understanding of polymers through studies covering synthesis; phase behavior, thermodynamics, dynamic phenomena; structure and properties; new state of the art characterization, modeling, simulation, and theoretical methods. Manuscripts in any of the above topics of interest that report studies integrating fundamental knowledge in the areas of polymer science and chemistry into important polymer applications and their performance are also welcome.

Discover More ACS Journal in our Portfolios by visiting our ACS Publications website at


10 Hot Topics in Chemistry so far in 2022

AI and Big Data 

At number ten, it’s artificial intelligence and big data in water environments. These powerful new tools are increasingly being used in environmental science to assess risks, examine contaminants, identify and characterize pollution sources, and to model water treatment processes. But there remain opportunities and challenges in applying machine learning and data analytics to solving environmental problems, and it is hoped that new techniques will significantly advance water-related research in the coming years.1

Read more

Thermochemical processing of waste and biomass

Next up: recent advances in biomass and wastes thermochemical processing. Earlier in the year the ACS journal Energy & Fuels highlighted developments presented by participants at a virtual symposium organized by the Washington State University Pacific Northwest National Laboratory Bioproducts Institute. The world is gradually transitioning from an era fueled by fossil power to one characterized by sustainability and renewable resources. Recent progresses the understanding of biomass thermochemical reactions are allowing research communities to visualize these in practical solutions to mitigate environmental issues. Contents within the issue fall into four areas: (1) fundamentals of biomass thermochemical reactions, (2) liquefaction technologies, (3) catalytic upgrading/refining, and (4) techno-economic analysis/material.2

Read more

Next Gen Active Materials

At eight, bioconjugate biomaterials, and the next generation of active materials. Biomaterials are redefining modern medicine – from new chemical strategies to modify hydrogels, or  biocompatible methods to stabilize proteins and peptides, biomaterials are changing the detection and treatment of disease. In addition, engineered systems reveal new insights into biological processes, including stem cell signaling, cellular motions, and tissue repair, with many applications in human health.3

Read more

Advances in TB drug discovery and diagnosis

Or how about drug discovery and diagnosis in tuberculosis? Before the emergence of SARS-CoV-2, tuberculosis was the leading cause of death from an infectious disease, with drug resistance limiting the effectiveness of current treatments. But recent advances in drug discovery and diagnostics promise new efforts to combat this global health threat, which may come back to the forefront as COVID recedes.4

Read more

Smoking and chemical toxicology

At six, research into the chemical toxicology of smoking – with consideration of the use of cigarettes, e-cigarettes, and cannabis, particularly given the rise of lung injury cases associated with vaping. It is likely that both conventional and innovative chemical tools will play a major role in understanding the mechanisms of toxicity of tobacco and its related products, as well as the transformation of e-cigarette constituents during vaping.5

Read more

Process safety in chemistry

Into the top five now, and our pick is process safety. Many industrial chemical incidents happen around the world every year, resulting in deaths, property damage, and disrupted supply chains. Systematically studying process performance and learning from the past is an effective way to prevent such incidents, with new research contributing to strategies for improving chemical safety across  natural, social, management, and engineering sciences.6

Read more

Catalysis and energy snapshot in China

At four, energy and catalysis, with a focus on China. Energy plays a central role in society, and the hunt for clean and sustainable resources is becoming one of the most important global issues of our time. Over the past decade, researchers in China have made extensive efforts and achieved significant advances in the fields of energy and catalysis – both in the understanding of fundamental mechanisms, and the development of efficient materials and devices.7

Read more

Applied chemistry in healthcare

The top three hot topics in this selection all take us back into chemical applications in healthcare. At three is antifungal drug discovery. Fungal diseases cause millions of deaths each year, and can increase the morbidity of other bacterial and viral infections. Current treatments such as polyenes, azoles, and echinocandins are old, and often do not offer cure – as well as being associated with severe side effects. New research and development is needed to improve outcomes, and to keep pace with emerging pathogens.8

Read more

Neglected tropical diseases

Coming in at number two, neglected tropical diseases, which affect more than a billion people worldwide in tropical areas and impoverished communities. This category of diseases includes schistosomiasis, which can damage the bladder, kidneys and liver, and other tropical parasites. ACS journals collaborated in a special virtual issue to showcase recent advances in the diagnosis and treatment of these illnesses.9

Read more


And our number one hot topic for the summer of 2022 – it’s vaccines. As we have all seen in recent years, vaccines are a key mitigation strategy against viruses. But their application is wider than just inoculating against infectious pathogens; indeed, they show utility in cancer and other diseases, and are driving new options for personalized medicine. Now, new materials and conjugation methods may simplify production and enhance outcomes. Furthermore, new biomolecules and display modalities can expand the reach of vaccines to target emerging and endemic viruses. Improved strategies to deliver vaccines and induce immunogenicity are critical to protect against future outbreaks.10

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All these topics have been covered in recent special and virtual issues of ACS journals. Visit the website to explore more, and connect with us on social media to tell us about your own favourite hot topics in the world of chemistry.

Find more hot topics and article collections


  1. AI and Big Data in Water Environments. ACS EST Water Available at: https://pubs.acs.org/page/aewcaa/vi/ai-big-data-water-environments.
  2. Recent Advances in Biomass and Wastes Thermochemical Processing. Energy Fuels Available at: https://pubs.acs.org/page/enfuem/vi/thermochemical-processing
  3. Bioconjugate Biomaterials: Leveraging Biology for the Next Generation of Active Materials. Bioconjugate Chem Available at: https://pubs.acs.org/page/bcches/vi/bioconjugatebiomaterials
  4. Tuberculosis Drug Discovery and Diagnosis. ACS Infect Dis Available at: https://pubs.acs.org/page/vi/tuberculosis
  5. Chemical Toxicology of Cigarette, e-Cigarette and Cannabis Smoking. Chem Res Toxicol Available at: https://pubs.acs.org/page/crtoec/vi/chemical-toxicology-cigarette
  6. Process Safety from Bench to Pilot to Plant. A special collaboration issue. Available at: https://pubs.acs.org/page/vi/process-safety-bench-pilot-plant
  7. Energy and Catalysis in China. J Phys Chem C Available at: https://pubs.acs.org/page/jpccck/vsi/energy-catalysis-china
  8. Antifungal Drug Discovery. A special collaboration issue. Available at: https://pubs.acs.org/page/vi/antifungals
  9. Neglected tropical Diseases. A special collaboration issue. Available at: https://pubs.acs.org/page/vi/ntdday
  10. Vaccine Strategies. Bioconjugate Chem Available at: https://pubs.acs.org/page/bcches/vi/vaccinestrategies

ACS Survey Shows Changing Attitudes Towards Open Access Publishing

Each year, ACS conducts a survey of its authors, readers, and reviewers to gauge their attitudes towards open access (OA), and to gather feedback on their experiences. In 2021, this survey ran between July and August and gathered over 1,400 responses from around the world, with subsequent focus groups at the 2022 ACS Spring Meeting providing additional context for many of the points raised in the survey.

Recent years have seen a steady growth of researchers publishing their work in open access journals. This is driven by a mix of factors including the desire for greater visibility, a personal agreement with the principles behind the OA movement, and institutional and/or research funder requirements. In many cases, these expectations are backed up by initiatives such as Read + Publish Agreements, and survey respondents feel that this kind of institutional support will be instrumental in continuing the growth of OA in the chemical sciences.

The survey also showed that more than two-thirds of respondents believe that publishing open access will be important within the next five years, with a preference for publishing in journals that include a mix of subscription-based and open access content in order to reach the best audience for their work. These ‘hybrid’ titles include ACS’ portfolio of more than 60 transformative journals, with their commitment to publishing an increasing proportion of open access content with the goal of eventually transitioning to 100% open access.

A free report is available discussing some of the survey’s findings in greater detail – visit the ACS Open Science website for more information.