Haze project update

Haze project update

One aspect of this research project is the assessment and development of 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.

Most research in this area has focussed 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 all cases the presence of particles (either measured in terms of haze or sub-micron particles) in the fresh products influenced the development of haze. In this study we will establish whether the influential parameters contributing to this beer haze model - sub-micron particles, protein (including haze-active protein), chill/permanent haze - are also of importance in other alcoholic drinks. A number of other factors identified in the above review, such as pH, ethanol, sugars, polyphenols and oxygen, will also be assessed for their impact. These may not be as important for haze formation in beer but could well be the drivers for the new alcoholic beverages under study here. Natural haze development as well as forcing tests will be performed and any correlations between haze and the physicochemical parameters 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 mix/Radler, flavoured beer and formulated spirit. The initial investigations have concentrated on red fruit ciders as there are a number of brands available and this market is still expanding. At present 18 different red fruit ciders (from the large well known companies to smaller independent firms) have been investigated.


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