71. Application of metabolomics to understand the contribution of barley to beer chemistry and flavor

Harmonie Akers (1); (1) Colorado State University, Fort Collins, CO, U.S.A.


Identifying superior ingredients that provide distinct flavors in brewing is an important area of research. Recent studies have demonstrated that small molecules in barley grain are highly variable among different types of barley. However, it is unclear if barley metabolites (and variation in these metabolites) can influence beer chemistry, flavor and sensory quality. The goal of this study is to determine if variation in the chemical content of the barley grain results in differences in the flavor and sensory quality of beer. Here, we used a metabolomics approach to characterize the chemical content of six barley varieties and the corresponding malt and beer. Barley grain and malt was ground into a fine powder, and metabolites were extracted by a biphasic solvent (MTBE/70% methanol/water). The barley grain, malt extracts, and beer were analyzed with two metabolite profiling platforms (UPLC-TOF-MS, ZIC-HILIC-LC-MS) and an ionomics platform (ICP-MS). The profiles of the six barley varieties, malts, and beers were evaluated using principal component analysis and ANOVA. Both statistical analyses revealed significant variation in the chemical content of the barley grain, malt and beer. Further, several metabolites were found to be associated among the sample types, supporting the theory that barley metabolites are associated with the final chemical content of the beer. Work related to the integration of the metabolomics data with sensory analysis will be discussed. Taken together, these data support a potential role for barley metabolites in beer chemistry and flavor.

  Harmonie Marie Akers received a B.S. degree in animal sciences from Colorado State University in 2000. She began employment with Odell Brewing Company in 1999. From 2004 to 2007, she served as a youth development volunteer for the U.S. Peace Corps in Bulgaria/Russia. In 2011, she returned to Fort Collins to create local, artisan cheese for MouCo Cheese Company. In 2013, she began her work toward an M.S. degree in food science/food safety at CSU.