49. The varietal aroma of ‘Sorachi Ace’: Identification and characterization of unique flavor compounds

Ayako Sanekata (1), Takeshi Kaneko (2), Takeshi Nakamura (2), Kiyoshi Takoi (3), Atsushi Tanigawa (3); (1) Sapporo Breweries Ltd., Yaizu, Japan; (2) Frontier Laboratories of Value Creation, Sapporo Breweries Ltd., Japan; (3) Product & Technology Innovation Department, Sapporo Breweries Ltd., Yaizu, Japan

Technical Session 14: Hops II
Tuesday, August 16  •  9:45–11:30 a.m.
Plaza Building, Concourse Level, Governor’s Square 14

In recent years, special varieties of aroma hops, which have various characteristic flavors and are mainly grown in the United State and Australia, have attracted research attention all over the world. Among such varieties, many craft brewers are interested in ‘Sorachi Ace’. This hop imparts a variety-specific flavor, for example woody, pine-like, citrus, dill-like and lemon grass-like, to finished beers. About 30 years ago, Sapporo Breweries Ltd. bred ‘Sorachi Ace’ in Sorachi-gun, Hokkaido, Japan. Sapporo is the only brewing company to breed both barley and hops in the world. After that, a commercial hop-breeder brought ‘Sorachi Ace’ to the United States in 1993. Now, this hop is often used in many craft beers. However, the flavor compound that contributes to its characteristic aroma, especially the woody, pine-like flavor, has not been sufficiently investigated yet. The aim of this study is to reveal the key components of the variety-specific flavor of ‘Sorachi Ace’. We investigated the specific flavor compounds derived from ‘Sorachi Ace’ by solid-phase microextraction–gas chromatography–mass spectrometry (SPME-GC-MS) and gas chromatography–olfactometry (GC-O) analyses. As a result, we identified the unique volatile compound only in the test-beer brewed with ‘Sorachi Ace’ at a significant level. In addition, we found that monoterpene alcohols were included at relatively high levels in ‘Sorachi Ace’ beer. Then we quantified these compounds in various hops and compared the behavior of these compounds during the brewing process. Furthermore, we investigated the sensory characteristics of these unique compounds derived from ‘Sorachi Ace’ by a model sensory evaluation. Based on our findings, we propose the hypothesis of the formation of the variety-specific flavor in ‘Sorachi Ace’ beer, using several volatiles as the key components.

Ayako Sanekata graduated from Kyushu University with a master’s degree in bioresource and bioenvironmental sciences in 2004. She joined Frontier Laboratories of Value Creation of Sapporo Breweries Ltd. in 2010. She has been engaged in chemical analysis related to quality assurance and studying the analysis of flavor components.