15. Understanding metabolite variation in barley, malt, and beer and association to flavor and flavor stability: A metabolomics approach

Adam Heuberger (1), Lindsay Barr (2), Corey Broeckling (1), Jessica Prenni (1), Dana Sedin (2); (1) Colorado State University, Fort Collins, CO, U.S.A.; (2) New Belgium Brewing Company, Fort Collins, CO, U.S.A.

Technical Session 4: Barley & Malt I
Sunday, August 14  •  2:00–3:15 p.m.
Tower Building, Second Level, Grand Ballroom

Developing a better understanding for the contribution of barley metabolites to beer flavor and flavor stability is an important area of research for the brewing industry. Here, we describe the utility of metabolomics to understand the breadth of variation in non-volatile small molecules in barley, malt and beer and integrate these data with metrics for malting quality, beer flavor and flavor stability. Metabolomics experiments were performed on UHPLC-MS platforms (reverse phase and/or HILIC) with custom data analysis workflows. Barley metabolites were evaluated in two independent experiments encompassing ~250 barley lines grown at four locations. The data demonstrated significant metabolite variation in barley associated with variety, row-type, growing location, and genotype by location interactions. The analyses identified metabolites with significant correlations to malting quality traits. Independent metabolomics experiments on beer (amber ales and India pale ales) reveal new information about small molecules that are associated with aging and flavor stability. ICP-MS ionomics and LC-MS proteomics were performed on different types of barley, malt and/or beer to facilitate the interpretation of the metabolomics data. Taken together, these data provide new information about the extent of chemical variation in barley and the association with malting quality, beer flavor and flavor stability. New molecular targets for barley breeding and malt selection will be discussed.

Adam is an assistant professor in the Department of Horticulture at Colorado State University. He received his B.S. degree (2004, molecular biology) and M.S. degree (2008, plant genetics) at UW-Madison. Adam received a Ph.D. degree in plant genetics from Colorado State University in 2011, where he characterized biochemical variation among diverse rice varieties. Adam joined the Colorado State University Proteomics and Metabolomics Facility in 2011 as a GC-MS and data analysis specialist and faculty in the Department of Horticulture in 2014. His laboratory studies biochemical and phytonutrient diversity in food crops and plant metabolites associated with sensory quality in foods such as beer and bread. This research integrates techniques in the fields of metabolomics, analytical chemistry, food science and plant genomics.