Probiotic Beer – a novel fermented food of the future?

It is widely accepted that probiotics have many health benefits and for this reason people are encouraged to eat fermented foods which naturally contain many healthy bacteria. Finding a beer that contains live bacteria has been impossible up until now because of the inhibiting properties of the hop acids used in brewing that prevent the growth and survival of probiotics.

However a young student from the Food Science and Technology Programme at the National University of Singapore (NUS) has managed to overcome this problem by developing a recipe that provides the optimal count of live bacteria in a beer.

Researchers at NUS spent 9 months propagating the probiotics and yeast in pure cultures and adjusting conventional fermenting and brewing procedures to achieve a winning formula. The final product takes about one month to brew and has an alcohol content of approximately 3.5 per cent.

The beer contains the probiotic strain Lactobacillus paracasei L26, first isolated from the human intestines -which has the ability to regulate the immune system as well as neutralise viruses and toxins. Use of this particular probiotic micro-organism, utilises sugars present in the brew to produce sour-tasting lactic acid that results in a beer with a sharp and tart flavour.

Given the growing interest in craft speciality beers it could prove popular amongst enthusiasts as well as those wanting to explore novel fermented foods. This gut friendly drink is expected to be on supermarket shelves before long, which could be great news for beer lovers who want to stay healthy at the same time as enjoying a pint or two!


Article Reference


National University of Singapore. “Novel probiotic beer boosts immunity and improves gut health: Patent filed for innovative brewing technique that incorporates live strain of good bacteria.” ScienceDaily. ScienceDaily, 28 June 2017. <www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2017/06/170628102334.htm>.

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