Development of a toolbox for the reduction of hordeins in barley malt beers

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Taylor, Joshua P.
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University College Cork
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Gluten sensitive consumers and people suffering from coeliac disease account for up to 6% of the general population (Catassi et al., 2013). These consumers must avoid foods which contain gluten and related proteins found in wheat, rye or barley. Beer is produced from barley malt and therefore contains hordeins, (gluten like proteins). Beers labelled as gluten-free must contain below 10 mg/kg hordeins (10 mg/kg hordeins = 20 mg/kg gluten under current regulations) to be considered safe for gluten sensitive consumers. Currently there are a limited number of methods available for reducing beer hordeins, the studies outlined in this thesis provide a range of tools for the beverage industry to reduce the hordein content of beer It is well known, that during malting and brewing hordeins are reduced, but they still remain in beer at levels above 10 mg/kg. During malting, hordeins are broken down to form new proteins in the growing plant. Model malting and brewing systems were developed and used to test, how the modification of the malting process could be used to reduce beer hordeins. It was shown, that by using a controlled malting and brewing regime, a range of barley cultivars produced beer with significant differences in levels of hordeins. Beer hordeins ranged from 10 mg/kg to 60 mg/kg. Another study revealed that when malting was prolonged, to maximise breakdown of proteins, beer hordeins can be reduced by up to 44%. The natural breakdown of hordein during malting enhanced in a further study, when a protease was added to support the hordein degradation during steeping and germination. The enzyme addition resulted in a 46% reduction in beer hordeins 2 when compared to the control. All of the malt treatments had little or no impact on malt quality. The hordein levels can also be reduced during the beer stabilisation process. Levels of beer hordein were tested after stabilisation using two different concentrations of silica gel and tannic acid. Silica gel was very effective in reducing beer hordeins, 90% of beer hordeins were removed compared to the control beer. Beer hordeins could be reduced to below 10 mg/kg and the beer qualities such as foam, colour and flavour were not affected. Tannic acid also reduced beer hordein by up to 90%, but it reduced foam stability and affected beer flavours. A further study described treatment of beer with microbial transglutaminase (mTG), to create bonds between hordein proteins, which increased particle size and allowed removal during filtration. The addition of the mTG led to a reduction of the beer hordein by up to 96% in beer, and the impact on the resulting beer quality was minimal. These studies provide the industry with a toolbox of methods leading to the reduction of hordein in the final beer without negatively affecting beer quality.
Beer , Gluten-free , Hordeins , Malt , Transglutaminase , Brewers Clarex , Prolyl endoprotease , Silica gel , Tannic acid , Over modified malt , Hordein reduction , Beer stabilisers
Taylor, J. P. 2016. Development of a toolbox for the reduction of hordeins in barley malt beers. PhD Thesis, University College Cork.
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