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

October 31, 2012, American Chemical Society
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: Most complete beer 'proteome' finding could lead to engineered brews

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

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.

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 ...

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 ...

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 ...

Recommended for you

Cells lacking nuclei struggle to move in 3-D environments

January 20, 2018

University of North Carolina Lineberger Comprehensive Cancer Center researchers have revealed new details of how the physical properties of the nucleus influence how cells can move around different environments - such as ...

Microbial communities demonstrate high turnover

January 19, 2018

When Mark Twain famously said "If you don't like the weather in New England, just wait a few minutes," he probably didn't anticipate MIT researchers would apply his remark to their microbial research. But a new study does ...

Hot weather is bad news for bird sperm

January 19, 2018

A new study led by Macquarie University and spanning Sydney and Oslo has shown that exposure to extreme temperatures, such as those experienced during heatwave conditions, significantly reduces sperm quality in zebra finches, ...

0 comments

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.