M-41: Astringent: A case study in product development

J. GOMEZ-LOPEZ (1); (1) FlavorActiV Ltd., Chinnor, U.K.

Saturday, June 7 - 1:00 p.m.-2:45 p.m.
Level 3, Crystal Room

Astringent is a mouthfeel characteristic that is present in many beers and can be considered a positive characteristic of many beer styles, particularly pilsners. Too much of this flavor is likely caused by a chemical or taint that has been introduced during tank cleaning, leading to an off-note issue. Astringent flavor is produced by polyphenols normally derived from malt or hops, and these polyphenols react with the proteins lining the mouth to produce the characteristic dry or furry mouthfeel. To counter this effect it is important that tasters are able to identify, describe, and remedy the problem. In response to industry needs, it was important that an astringent flavor standard be developed. Unlike most reference materials, such as tannic acid, malic acid, polyphenol compounds, or aluminum sulfate, it was important that the beer remain unaltered, as these compounds can modify the flavor profile or external appearance of a beer sample. In terms of product development, FlavorActiV’s dedicated, externally regulated GMP Flavour Centre provides quality and traceability reassurance. As the need for an astringent flavor standard has intensified, a series of processes were implemented, all following good manufacturing practices and standing operating procedures. The production process itself is meticulous and lengthy and can take anywhere from one to five months. In this paper we will discuss the initial sensory assessment of a number of candidate compounds for an astringent standard (some already used in the industry and some new); the effects they have in the beer, both in terms of flavor alteration/degradation and external appearance; and the final selection of the target compound. The selected compound (a mixture of plant alkaloids) was encapsulated and assessed by an external panel to confirm flavor quality and threshold.

Javier Gomez-Lopez joined FlavorActiV in 2006 as a global sensory manager and covers Spanish and Portuguese countries in Europe, Latin America, and Africa. He also looks after the craft brewers market in the United States and internationally. He has delivered many training courses in acceptance warehouse release, food and beer matching, train the trainer, sensory science, and statistics. Javier is an expert in advanced and bespoke training courses, in addition to being FlavorActiV’s in-house beer sommelier. Javier recently played a key role in the development of web-validation tools, making taster management quicker, easier, and more efficient. Javier holds a Ph.D. degree in physical chemistry from Queen’s University Belfast (2003) and worked as a research fellow at the university from 2003 to 2006.

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