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Identification of beer proteins could help improve flavour, study claims

By Guy Montague-Jones , 30-Sep-2010
Last updated the 30-Sep-2010 at 13:48 GMT

The authors of a new paper identifying new proteins in beer believe that the research could help brewers to fine tune the flavour and aroma of the drink.

Writing in the Journal of Proteome Research, a publication of the American Chemistry Society, Italian scientists sought to deepen their understanding of the set of proteins that survive the brewing process.

The perfect head

They said these proteins that remain in beer play an important role in the formation, texture and stability of the foam ‘head’.

The appearance of the head can be an important factor in determining consumer acceptance of a beer and yet the researchers said there has been little research conducted in the area.

Until now a dozen beer proteins have been identified, including seven from the barley used to make beer and two from yeast.

The latest research increased the numbers significantly. Scientists identified 20 barley proteins, 40 proteins from yeast, and two proteins from corn.

Potential implications

Explaining the potential implications of the research, the scientists said: “The knowledge of the residual proteome in beers might help brewers in selecting proper proteinaceous components that might enrich beer flavor and texture.”

More specifically, they added: “These findings might help brewers in devising fermentation processes in which the release of yeast proteins could be minimized, if such components could alter the flavor of beer, or maximized in case of species improving beer’s aroma.”

The identification of the proteins in the study was completed using the combinatorial peptide ligand library (CPLL) technology.

Journal of Proteome Research
DOI: 10.1021/pr100551n
Les Maitres de l’Orge: The Proteome Content of Your Beer Mug
Authors: Elisa Fasoli, Giancarlo Aldini, Luca Regazzoni, Alexander V. Kravchuk, Attilio Citterio, and Pier Giorgio Righetti