Production of low alcohol beer and other fermented beverages

Description of the research

The flavour of beer and other fermented beverages is the result of a complex combination of compounds that give each beverage its distinctive flavour. Although the final taste and aroma are the consequence of several hundreds of flavouring compounds obtained during the production process, most of these substances are produced during fermentation by starter yeasts and are metabolic intermediates or by-products of the metabolism of the components of the must (mainly amino acids and carbohydrates).

The starter yeasts mainly used in the production of fermented beverages are marketed by large international companies and their diversity is rather limited. The availability of new starters can be a suitable way to differentiate the fermented beverages obtained, especially in small and medium-sized enterprises, and respond to the growing market demands for innovative products.

Furthermore, low alcoholic fermented beverages are gaining increasing commercial interest as well as reducing the social impact of diseases deriving from ethanol abuse, in line with recent international social policies concerning the health protection of European citizens (no/low-alcohol policies of the European Commission’s Health Policy –2006 EU alcohol strategy + 2009 and 2013). Currently, the strategies for producing fermented beverages with reduced alcohol content are based on physical processes (alcohol removal by thermal or membrane-mediated processes) or biological (use of yeasts with low fermentation capacity – e.g.: Saccharomycodes ludwigii).

In this context, the research developed by the researchers of the Department of Agricultural, Food and Environmental Sciences of the University of Perugia (hosting Institution of within the DBVPG Collection has investigated not only new strains of Saccharomyces cerevisiae (already present in the collection) as original starters for obtaining innovative beers (e.g. low carb), but also unconventional species (e.g. Mrakia gelida) for the production of fermented beverages with a low alcohol content.

Papers published on the subject in the last 5 years

S. Rossi, B. Turchetti, V. Sileoni, O. Marconi, G.I.F. Perretti (2018). Evaluation of Saccharomyces cerevisiae strains isolated from non-brewing environments in beer production. Journal of the Institute of Brewing 124:381–388; DOI: 10.1002/jib.503 .

G. De Francesco, C. Sannino, V. Sileoni, O. Marconi, S. Filippucci, G. Tasselli, B. Turchetti (2018) Mrakia gelida in brewing process: An innovative production of low alcohol beer using a psychrophilic yeast strain. Food Microbiology 76:354–362; DOI: 10.1016/

C. Sannino, A. Mezzasoma, P. Buzzini, B. Turchetti. Non-conventional Yeasts for Producing Alternative Beers In: Non-conventional Yeasts: from Basic Research to Application (A. Sibirny. ed.) Springer-Verlag, Berlin, Germany, 2019, pp. 361-388.

A. Troilo, G. De Francesco, O. Marconi, V. Sileoni, B. Turchetti, G. Perretti (2019) Low Carbohydrate Beers Produced by a Selected Yeast Strain from an Alternative Source. Journal of the American Society of Brewing Chemists, 78(1):80; DOI: 10.1080/03610470.2019.1682887.

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