A heady discovery for beer fans: The first gene for beer foam could improve froth

October 31, 2012
A heady discovery for beer fans: The first gene for beer foam could improve froth

The yeast used to make beer has yielded what may be the first gene for beer foam, scientists are reporting in a new study. Published in ACS' Journal of Agricultural and Food Chemistry, the discovery opens the door to new possibilities for improving the frothy "head" so critical to the aroma and eye appeal of the world's favorite alcoholic beverage, they say.

Tomás G. Villa and colleagues explain that proteins from the barley and yeast used to make beer contribute to the quality of its foam. The foamy head consists of bubbles containing , which yeast produces during fermentation. Proteins gather around the gas, forming the bubbles in the foam. Studies have shown that proteins from the yeast stabilize the foam, preventing the head from disappearing too soon. But until now, no one knew which was responsible for making the foam-stabilizing protein.

The researchers identified the gene, which they call CFG1. The gene is similar to those already identified in wine and sake yeasts that also are involved in foaming. "Taken together all the results shown in the present paper make … CFG1 gene a good candidate to improve the foam character in the brewing industry," they say.

Explore further: Yeast: The secret ingredient that makes a good wine rise to the occasion

More information: "Cloning and Characterization of the Beer-Foaming Gene CFG1 from Saccharomyces pastorianus" J. Agric. Food Chem., 2012, 60 (43), pp 10796–10807, DOI: 10.1021/jf3027974

Related Stories

Taking the stress off yeast produces better wine

September 9, 2009

Turning grape juice into wine is a stressful business for yeasts. Dr Agustin Aranda from the University of Valencia, Spain has identified the genes in yeast that enable it to respond to stress and is investigating ways to ...

Scientists to study one of world's oldest beers

February 8, 2011

In the summer of 2010 in the Aland archipelago, divers retrieved well-preserved bottles of champagne and five bottles of beer from the wreck of a ship that likely sank during the first half of 1800s. VTT Technical Research ...

VTT examined the first bottle of 170-year-old beer

June 27, 2011

Finnish research center VTT has examined one of five bottles of beer salvaged last summer by divers from the wreck of a ship that sank an estimated 170 years ago in the Aland Islands.

Knowing yeast genome produces better wine

June 4, 2012

The yeast Dekkera bruxellensis plays an important role in the production of wine, as it can have either a positive or a negative impact on the taste. Researchers at Lund University in Sweden, among others, have analyzed the ...

Recommended for you

A better way to read the genome

October 9, 2015

UConn researchers have sequenced the RNA of the most complicated gene known in nature, using a hand-held sequencer no bigger than a cell phone.

Threat posed by 'pollen thief' bees uncovered

October 9, 2015

A new University of Stirling study has uncovered the secrets of 'pollen thief' bees - which take pollen from flowers but fail to act as effective pollinators - and the threat they pose to certain plant species.

Mapping the protein universe

October 9, 2015

To understand how life works, figure out the proteins first. DNA is the architect of life, but proteins are the workhorses. After proteins are built using DNA blueprints, they are constantly at work breaking down and building ...


Please sign in to add a comment. Registration is free, and takes less than a minute. Read more

Click here to reset your password.
Sign in to get notified via email when new comments are made.