German scientists used advanced analytical techniques in order to find over 7,700 chemical formulas in 400 different beers coming from 40 different countries around the world. The NMR spectroscopy was used to conduct this research.
German Scientists Findings on Beer
People have been brewing beer for millenia, and the science behind the basic chemistry of fermentation is well understood.
However, according to ArsTechnica, scientists can now use advanced analytical techniques in order to continue learning other chemical compounds that contribute to the different kinds of beer's flavor and aroma.
The more recent analysis comes from a team of German scientists who were able to analyze over 400 commercial beers stretching from 40 countries.
The scientists were able to identify at least 7,700 different types of chemical formulas, as well as 10s of thousands of unique molecules. This was according to a recent paper that was published in the journal Frontiers in Chemistry.
NMR Spectroscopy to Study Beer Acid Levels
The new approach was able to analyze a sample in just 10 minutes.
Philippe Schmitt-Kopplin of the Technical University of Munich as well as the Helmholtz Center in Munich, who co-authored the paper, noted that thanks to these improvements in analytical chemistry, they have been able to reveal the complexity in what was described as "unprecedented detail."
In order to help brewers have a better understanding on how sour beers develop their very distinctive complex flavors, the University of Redlands in California chemists have been tracking a number of different chemical compounds that contribute to flavor profiles.
The NMR spectroscopy was used to study the levels of acetic acid, succinic acid, and lactic acid, which are all produced as the yeast ferments, which contribute to the whole distinctive flavor profile of sour beer.
Findings on 400 Beer Samples
For the analysis, Schmitt-Kopplin et al. subjected a whopping 400 samples of beer that were purchased from local grocery stores and brewed from the wide stretch of the world namely US, Europe, Latin America, Africa, and even East Asia to two different complementary mass spectrometry techniques.
They reportedly used the initial method to determine the beers' chemical diversity as well as to predict chemical formulas for the whole metaboline ions seen in those beers.
The scientists used a second technique in order to find out the exact molecular structure in 100 subsamples of beers.
They were also quite able to reconstruct a full metabolic network of the whole complex reactions that were taking place during that particular brewing process. The results led the team to identify over 7,700 chemical formulas, all with as much as 25 different molecular structures.
Any beer would actually have tens of thousands of different molecules contributing to its own distinctive aroma, flavor, and other desirable qualities.
A new study also explained the truth behind drinking beer before wine.
There have been numerous interesting studies on beer, like how it can sharpen one's memory.
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Written by Urian B.