A scientist from Russia has developed a recipe for bifidobeer - a beer that contains bifidobacteria. There is evidence to suggest that bifidobacteria contained in beer can perform several functions at the same time - beer quality and for the health of the consumers.
One of the most complicated problems for the brewer is the senescence of beer due to oxidation by the oxygen in the air, that can in turn give a specific unpleasant taste and smell to beer. In order to prevent, or at least slow down, the oxidation process, brewers can use various methods. The most popular and efficient method is to artificially raise the strength of beer, normally by increasing the concentration of alcohol in beer.
In addition, brewers have noticed that the first portions of beer are the most difficult to keep. The first portions of beer contain more nitrosoamines - substances of carcinogenic action. The reason is that the remainder of the detergents penetrate the first portions of beer and it is practically impossible to get rid of the detergent traces even if the equipment gets thoroughly rinsed. These insignificant quantities of detergents would not only accelerate the oxidising process but would also interact with some components of beer causing the nitrosoamines formation.
The Russian scientists claim that in this case bifidobacteria contained in beer may help: bifidobacteria absorb on their surface the detergents and traces of heavy metals (heavy metals get to beer from stainless steel of which the bulk of the brewers` equipment is made). Bifidobacteria act as natural antioxidants and prevent the oxidising process. By adding bifidobacteria brewers can not only slow down the senescence process but also reduce the amount of dangerous nitrosoamines.
Bacteria could not only ensure the beer quality, but could also add some medicinal properties, in the same way that bacteria do for bifidokefir. It is worth noting, claim the scientists, that bifidobacteria contained in the beer colonise the intestines even faster than those added to kefir. Bifidobacteria populate the gastrointestinal tract and prevent dysbacteriosis. In the course of the lifecycle these bacteria also enrich beer with vitamins B2 and B6 and with some useful amino acids (which also act as antioxidants).