- Brewing with adjuncts
The brewing industry is facing an ever increasing challenge to become more cost-effective, while at the same time maintaining or improving product quality. Brewing with unmalted cereals such as barley, wheat, rye, oats, sorghum, maize, rice, buckwheat, quinoa or teff, also referred to as adjuncts, has the potential to reduce the costs of raw materials. Besides, the substitution of malted barley with unmalted cereals can have a positive effect on flavour and aroma, physical stability and colour of beers. However, the use of adjuncts can also adversely affect the quality and processability of mashes, worts and beers. High β-glucan contents can cause problems during lautering and filtration. Worts produced with adjuncts might lack nitrogenous compounds resulting in fermentation problems or poor foam retention. Beers containing a high percentage of fats are susceptible to oxidative rancidity and changes in flavour. In addition, cereals such as sorghum, maize and rice having a high starch gelatinisation temperature have to be cooked before their enzymatic conversion into fermentable sugars. Brewing with high adjunct levels can involve the addition of exogenous enzymes such as α-amylase, β-amylase, protease and hemicellulase to improve the extract recovery.
- Investigation on biological antifungal compounds with application in malting and brewing industry
The globalization and expected increase in global malting barley trade has a direct association with increased fungal infection and cross-contamination risks.
Filamentous fungi, like Fusarium species, are a main safety concern due to production of mycotoxins with carcinogenic and mutagenic potential transferable from grains to malt to beer, and other processed food. High incidence of mycotoxin infections in cereals have been observed worldwide. Also, malting is a complex ecosystem where favorable conditions for microbial growth are present, thus, microorganisms interact metabolically with the process with a significant influence in malting performance.
Lactic acid Bacteria (LAB) have long been known to have the ability to delay fungal growth in food by producing antifungal compounds.
The main objectives of this project are the isolation and characterization of the antifungal compounds from LAB to enable the implementation of biological methods well accepted by the consumer. Expected benefits and future competitive advantages for the cereal industries will be the inhibition in mould’s growth; the reduction in mycotoxin production; the reduction in malting losses; the production of acidified malt; which enables the optimization of enzymatic activity and improves the beer processability and quality.