Carbohydrate testing suggests beer body boost

By Neil Merrett

- Last updated on GMT

Related tags Brewing Glucose

An ingredient manufacturer says that one of its functional
carbohydrate products can offer brewers improved texture and
stability retention in lower or no-alcohol beer, according to
independent testing.

Beneo-Palatinit claims that its beet-sugar-derived Palatinose product, which has a low-glycemic index, has a stable bond between the fructose and glucose molecules making it less fermentable in beer and malted drink products.

The company said it has therefore tested the product's performance as an ingredient for beer and ready-to-drink (RTD) products during the brewing process, findings that may allow for further developments for the industry in the future.

Testing Through the study, conducted by researchers at the Versuchs- und Lehranstalt für Brauereien (VLB), links between the use of Palatinose with improved mouth-feel texture and a fuller-bodied alcoholic and non-alcoholic beer were found, the company said.

A spokesperson for the group told that the development would allow the company to better address consumer beer tastes.

"Today's consumers are increasingly looking for low alcohol beer options but are not prepared to compromise on taste," said Dr Stephan Hausmanns, head of product management at Beneo-Palatinit.

"With Palatinose, we can help brewers to address this need."

Beneo-Palatinit says it hopes to detail these findings to the industry at the 2008 World Brewing Congress in Honolulu, Hawaii, which takes place in August.

Texture benefits Beneo-Palatinit claims this application could be particularly useful in manufacturing traditionally lower-bodied beer-based beverages like mixed products.

To obtain the best benefits though, the company says that the testing found an improved performance when the product was used earlier in the brewing process.

The company says that compared to other similarly priced functional carbohydrates for food and drink production, Palatinose offers a fully digestible and stable product with a low-level of sweetness.

In addition, Beneo-Palatinit believes that the findings suggest it is possible to ensure strong microbiological stability improvements when a brewer used only Palatinose in its beer as opposed to a mixture of other carbohydrates.

Future development The findings, taken over a three-year period between 2004 and 2007 by VLB, suggested that most common brewing yeasts and other contaminants such as Lactobacillus brevis and Saccharomyces diastaticus could not ferment the Palatinose present.

It is this feature of the carbohydrate that ensures improved microbiological stability in a product, according to the group.

Anette Radowski, Beneo-Palatinit area manager for technical services, said that the group would now look to expand its experience of manufacturing functional carbohydrates in the field of brewing.

"Thanks to its unique physiological benefits as well as some of its physical and chemical characteristics, Palatinose offers new opportunities for product development in the area of beer specialties and malt beverages," she stated.

Palatinose Palatinit claims Palatinose, disaccharide Isomaltulose derived from pure beet sugar, is "the only low-glycaemic carbohydrate to supply energy in the form of glucose over a prolonged period of time".

Palatinose gained novel foods approval in the EU in July 2005, and in March 2006 the US FDA issued a letter to no objection to its GRAS status (generally recognised as safe).

The product has already been found to be suitable for use in sports and wellness drinks, liquid meals and energy and cereal bars, Beneo-Palatinit says.

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