Main content area

Release of phenolic flavour precursors during wort production: Influence of process parameters and grist composition on ferulic acid release during brewing

Vanbeneden, Nele, Van Roey, Tom, Willems, Filip, Delvaux, Filip, Delvaux, Freddy R.
Food chemistry 2008 v.111 no.1 pp. 83-91
phenolic compounds, flavor, wort (brewing), ferulic acid, beers, esterases, mash, wheat
In this study, the effects of mashing variables such as mashing-in temperature, time and pH, mash thickness, grist coarseness and composition, and stirring regime on the release of ferulic acid were examined. Ferulic acid is a precursor for the formation of flavour-active volatile phenols and a potent natural antioxidant in beer. Given one barley malt variety, the multitude of choice in setting various process parameters and adding brewery adjuncts during brewhouse operations can give rise to worts with widely varying ferulic acid levels. A clear difference in temperature- and pH-dependence between the release of the water-extracted and the enzymatically hydrolyzed fraction was found. The T,t-dependencies of arabinoxylan-degrading enzyme activities were correlated with ferulic acid release during mashing. Results from laboratory-scale mashing experiments were validated with those from a pilot-scale (5h) wort production process. Enhancing the enzymatic release of phenolic flavour precursors from bound forms during mashing can greatly enhance the phenolic aroma potential of wort. Optimising this precursor release during mashing may be a means for controlling final volatile phenol levels in beer.