Beer From September 2014 newsletter

Preventing haze in drinks

Member-funded research is assessing and developing methods for measuring and characterising hazes in beers with novel ingredients and other novel alcoholic beverages such as beer mixes, cider/fruit mixes and spirits with novel additives. Haze formation is a quality problem that can affect a wide range of drinks. Non-microbiological particles that can cause haze include starch, beta-glucan, proteins, lipids and crystalline substances. Catharine O'Shaughnessy explains:

"Most research in this area has focused on beer, for which some predictive models have been developed. However, with the emergence of many novel alcoholic drink types on the market, there is a need to also identify the factors influencing haze development in these new products. This would allow manufacturers to optimise beverage composition and processing as well as predict colloidal stability. Previously, we carried out a major study investigating haze development in beer. In this study we will establish whether the influential parameters contributing to this beer haze are also of importance in other alcoholic drinks. A number of other factors identified in the previous work, such as pH, ethanol, sugars, polyphenols and oxygen, will also be assessed for their impact. Natural haze development as well as forcing tests will be performed and any correlations between haze and the physicochemical parameters will be established. This will allow some new insights into haze formation in non-beer alcoholic beverage categories."

The product categories under review are: fruit cider, beer mixes, flavoured beer and formulated spirit. The initial investigations have concentrated on red fruit ciders, an expanding category. At present 18 different red fruit ciders have been investigated.

Contact: Catharine O'Shaughnessy
+44(0)1737 824267

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