London, Nov 18: Scientists at the Manchester and Leicester Universities have finally developed yeasts that will give new flavours to beer, a solution that has baffled brewers since the 1800s, according to a study.
The scientists revealed in the study published on Wednesday that they have developed unique fertile hybrid yeast strains that offer novel and exciting options for flavours, aromas, and brewing processes for the drinks industry.
The type of yeast used in the fermentation process influences how a beer tastes once it has been brewed.
“There are currently two main categories of yeasts, ale and lager, plus hundreds of variations used by modern day brewers in a booming global industry. The newly created hybrid yeast strains have been shown to successfully breed and produce offspring with specific desirable characteristics required for the beverage manufacturing process,” the scientists said in their study.
Daniela Delneri, professor of evolutionary genomics at the Manchester Institute of Biotechnology, and her team have succeeded in producing fertile yeast hybrids with diverse genetic traits.
“This research tackles the fundamental issue of hybrid sterility and multigenerational breeding. With my colleague Professor Ed Louis at the University Leicester, we were able to overcome species barriers and pinpoint the genetic traits unique to the hybrids. This technology has the ability to revolutionise the current practices by allowing the rapid creation of efficient tailored yeasts carrying specific, novel, and important traits,” she said.
“For example, yeast hybrids including traits from the newly discovered species can add a spicy clove note to the final aroma of the fermented product.”
As well as opening opportunities in food and drink production, this approach could be used to develop novel yeast “cell factories” that could be used in the field of industrial biotechnology to sustainably biomanufacture pharmaceuticals, chemicals and fuels, she said.
“This research demonstrates how the potential for enhancing natural biodiversity and developing new hybrids is greater than expected and will offer new ways for industry to generate new and exciting consumer choices,” she added. (IANS)