2017 Master Brewers Conference
70. foodproof real-time PCR—Convenient, safe, and fast state-of-the-art technology for the detection of spoilage bacteria and yeast and molds in craft beer

Benjamin Junge, BIOTECON Diagnostics, Potsdam, Germany

Food Safety

BIOTECON Diagnostics real-time PCR LyoKits specifically amplify and detect the smallest quantities of DNA of spoilage microorganisms that can occur in craft breweries. The company has developed three new kits for the brewing industry, which covers all important beer spoiling bacteria, yeasts, and molds. The foodproof Beer Screening LyoKit detects 31 different bacterial beer spoilers after only 48 hours of unspecific enrichment. This includes all relevant species of the genera Lactobacillus, Pediococcus, Pectinatus, and Megasphaera. In addition, the kit allows you to identify Lactobacillus brevis in a single fluorescence channel. Another fluorescence channel is used to screen for hop tolerance genes. The foodproof Spoilage Yeast 1 and 2 Detection Kits detect so-called wild yeasts, of which Saccharomyces species are generally considered the most important. Wild yeast can be defined as any yeast that a brewer did not intentionally introduce into a beer. Similar to beer spoiling bacteria, wild yeasts can produce a wide variety of undesired flavors in finished beer. Besides the detection of Saccharomyces species, e.g., Saccharomyces cerevisiae var. diastaticus, the two real-time PCR kits also detect other relevant species like Zygosaccharomyces spp. and Dekkera/Brettanomyces spp. 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 done quickly, safely, and easily. For both, the foodproof Beer Screening LyoKit and the foodproof Spoilage Yeast 1 and 2 Detection Kits, BIOTECON Diagnostics also provides foodproof DNA Extraction Kits for all kind of matrices. All three assays include an internal positive control to assure that a negative result is a true negative. To increase the sensitivity and the convenience of the assays, the kits have been designed in a lyophilized format including all PCR-reagents in a pellet. The samples can be added directly into the well without further pipetting, which reduces the risk of cross-contamination. In general, the tests are easy to use with short hands-on time and can be used at all stages of production. These foodproof tests have been specifically developed for the brewing industry. They can significantly optimize and simplify the quality control of craft beers, adapt sanitation procedures, and increase awareness and knowledge of the present microorganisms. In the lecture, the results of the internal validations will be presented, including matrix compatibility, sensitivity, and specificity testing as well as accuracy and robustness.

Benjamin Junge is senior product manager at BIOTECON Diagnostics.