Micro-brews

November 16, 2010
The Column

Volume 6, Issue 20

Beer is one of the world?s oldest and most widely consumed alcoholic beverages, and a recent study of its proteome may provide brewers with ways to make it even better.

Beer is one of the world’s oldest and most widely consumed alcoholic beverages, and a recent study of its proteome may provide brewers with ways to make it even better.

The beer proteome describes the residual proteins remaining in the beer after the brewing process. They play a role in the formation, texture and stability of the foam head, an important characteristic in the eyes of many consumers. A study published in the Journal of Proteome Research1 aims to use proteomic analysis to benefit brewers.

The proteome was evaluated via prior capture with combinatorial peptide ligand libraries (CPLL) at three different pH values. Nano-LC–MS–MS analysis of the recovered fractions identified 20 different barley protein families and two maize proteins, as well as 40 unique yeast proteins.

According to the researchers, the results show the unique performance of the CPLL technique for offering a unique increment in sensitivity for low- to very-low abundance species, especially regarding the 40 yeast proteins, of which previous investigations have only reported two.

The researchers hope that these findings may help brewers devise fermentation processes that minimize the release of yeast proteins that alter the flavour, or to maximize their release for species that improve the beer’s aroma.

1. E. Fasoli et al., J. Proteome Res., 9(10), 5262–5269 (2010).

This story originally appeared in The Column. Click here to view that issue.