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Validation of a high-performance size-exclusion chromatography method to determine and characterize β-glucans in beer wort using a triple-detector array

Tomasi, Ivan, Marconi, Ombretta, Sileoni, Valeria, Perretti, Giuseppe
Food chemistry 2017 v.214 pp. 176-182
beers, beta-glucans, brewing, filtration, gel chromatography, gels, hydrodynamics, industry, molecular weight, refractive index, viscometers, viscosity
Beer wort β-glucans are high-molecular-weight non-starch polysaccharides of that are great interest to the brewing industries. Because glucans can increase the viscosity of the solutions and form gels, hazes, and precipitates, they are often related to poor lautering performance and beer filtration problems. In this work, a simple and suitable method was developed to determine and characterize β-glucans in beer wort using size exclusion chromatography coupled with a triple-detector array, which is composed of a light scatterer, a viscometer, and a refractive-index detector. The method performances are comparable to the commercial reference method as result from the statistical validation and enable one to obtain interesting parameters of β-glucan in beer wort, such as the molecular weight averages, fraction description, hydrodynamic radius, intrinsic viscosity, polydispersity and Mark-Houwink parameters. This characterization can be useful in brewing science to understand filtration problems, which are not always explained through conventional analysis.