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The chemical profiling of fatty acids during the brewing process

Olšovská, Jana, Vrzal, Tomáš, Štěrba, Karel, Slabý, Martin, Kubizniaková, Petra, Čejka, Pavel
Journal of the science of food and agriculture 2019 v.99 no.4 pp. 1772-1779
barley, beers, brewing, butyric acid, chemometrics, fermentation, foams, hops, long chain fatty acids, odors, oxidation, raw materials, yeasts
BACKGROUND: Although fatty acids have a beneficial effect on yeast growth during fermentation, their effect on foam and sensory stability of beer is negative. In general, long‐chain fatty acids originate from raw materials, whereas short‐chain acids are produced by yeast during fermentation. If the concentration of short‐chain fatty acids, especially isovaleric and butyric acid, overreaches a sensory threshold, then an unpleasant aroma, such as cheesy or sweaty feet, can be formed in beer. RESULTS: The distribution of fatty acids, from the preparation of sweet wort to the final beer, was studied using chemometric evaluation. Differences were observed between the decoction and infusion system using four barley varieties. Attention was paid to the behavior of short‐chain fatty acids, namely isovaleric acid. The concentration of isovaleric acid in commercial beers brewed in infusion and decoction systems was approximately 1.4 and 1.0 mg L⁻¹, respectively. The same trend was observed in experimental samples (1.3 and 0.5 mg L⁻¹, respectively). This phenomenon was confirmed experimentally; based on the results, this possibly explains why, during the fermentation, isovaleric acid is coupled with the redox state of yeast cell, which is given by the wort composition (i.e. by the mashing process). CONCLUSION: The formation of isovaleric acid is not only caused by microbiology infection or by oxidized hops, but also is influenced by the mashing process. © 2018 Society of Chemical Industry