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58. Real-time PCR: A multipurpose tool to increase quality of craft beer

M. FANDKE (1);(1) BIOTECON Diagnostics GmbH, Potsdam, Germany


BIOTECON Diagnostics real-time PCR Kits specifically amplify and detect the smallest quantities of DNA of microorganisms that are important in (craft) breweries. The information gained can be used to increase the quality of craft beers, optimize sanitation procedures, and increase awareness and knowledge of the present microorganisms. Breweries can use the foodproof beer screening kit for the detection and identification of 30 different beer spoilers after only 48 hr of unspecific enrichment. Importantly, this kit detects and distinguishes not only relevant Lactobacillus and Pediococcus species that grow in beers with a typical alcohol and hop content, but also the obligatory anaerobic beer spoilers of the genera Megasphaera and Pectinatus. This test is easy to use with short hands-on time and can be used at all stages of production. Apart from bacterial beer spoilers, the presence of wild yeasts is a common problem in craft breweries, and microbiological analysis is time-consuming and error prone. On the level of DNA, the distinction of important wild yeasts can be made easily. For brewers of lambic beers, for example, the presence or absence of Brettanomyces (the anamorph of Dekkera) can be detected and even quantified using the foodproof Dekkera quantification kit, thus enabling brewers to monitor the amount of Brettanomyces during fermentation. The foodproof Saccharomyces cerevisiae var. diastaticus kit enables brewers to easily screen and identify this problematic wild yeast. Thus, most of your quality control microbiology can be carried out using the validated, specific, and highly sensitive BIOTECON Diagnostics products. The use of this open real-time PCR platform enables scientifically interested brewers to additionally create their own assays, thus extending the possibilities of using real-time PCR for further applications.

Markus Fandke started working at BIOTECON Diagnostics in 1996 to prepare his diploma thesis, “Development of a Rapid Detection System for Megasphaera and Pectinatus.” After graduating as a chemical engineer from the Niederrhein University of Applied Sciences he went on to work in the BIOTECON Diagnostics R&D Department, where he significantly contributed to the development of the foodproof® beer screening kit. As part of the marketing team, he has been strongly involved in the implementation of real-time PCR in brewery quality control labs worldwide for many years. In this function and his function as head of the BIOTECON Diagnostics service laboratory he has always been in touch with customers, especially brewers, to discuss their needs regarding relevant microbiological issues.