BOFFINS create Frankenwine to find the perfect schnapps.
A team of Belgian scientists say they have improved the taste of beer and other beverages by gene-hacking the yeast used to brew them.
In an article this week, researchers described how they identified and engineered a piece of DNA responsible for hooch’s flavor.
By changing the gene, it is possible to produce better-tasting beer – and improve other alcoholic beverages.
Such techniques could revolutionize wine and beer making by achieving brewing perfection.
The research results from the Katholieke Universiteit in Leuven were published in the journal Applied and Environmental Microbiology on Tuesday.
Beer is brewed in large barrels by fermenting a mixture of water, grain and hops with yeast.
Fermenting produces carbon dioxide, which pressurizes the closed vessels and sometimes dulls the taste.
To improve the taste of beer, the team set out to identify the gene responsible for its loss during the brewing process.
They studied a large number of yeast strains to determine which were best at preserving flavor under pressure.
They focused on a gene for a banana-like taste “because it’s one of the most important flavors in beer and other alcoholic beverages,” said study lead author Dr. Johan Thevelein.
They found a single gene called MDS3 that is responsible for producing the taste.
It encodes a chemical involved in the production of isoamyl acetate, the source of the banana-like flavor that was responsible for most of the pressure tolerance in a yeast strain, Thevelein said.
The team then used CRISPR/Cas9 gene-editing technology to manipulate this mutation in other brewing strains.
The mutation improved their tolerance to carbon dioxide pressure, which in turn improved their taste.
“The mutation is the first insight into understanding the mechanism by which high carbon dioxide pressure can affect beer flavor production,” said Thevelein.
The team believes that the MDS3 protein likely plays a key role in carbon dioxide inhibition of banana flavor production.
He added, “How it does that is not clear.”
Gene hacking technology has previously been used to identify DNA responsible for the rose flavor produced by yeast in alcoholic beverages.
Scientists in multiple labs around the world are using the findings to try to create the perfect beer brewing yeast.
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https://www.thesun.ie/tech/9518551/beer-taste-better-belgian-boffins-hack-yeast-genes/ Beer said to taste even better after tinkerers hacked yeast genes – The Irish Sun