Genetically Engineered Yeast—A Review of Terminology, Science, and Regulation​​

Molly Browning (1), Laura Burns (2), Chaz Rice (3), and Avi Shayevitz (1). 1. Lallemand Inc., Montreal, QB, Canada. 2. Omega Yeast Labs, Chicago, IL, USA. 3. Mascoma LLC, a subsidiary of Lallemand, Lebanon, NH, USA


The current offerings of genetically engineered yeast are expanding, and an effort is being made to provide accessible information to brewers surrounding this new wave of innovation. While in use for decades, imprecise descriptions of genetic engineering methods could potentially lead to misconceptions of how genetically modified organisms are developed, used, and regulated. This review discusses the preferred terminology currently used to describe genetically modified organisms and the use of genetic modification in foods and beverages and provides an overview of fundamental methods of engineering brewing yeast and of the regulatory aspects that relate to the safety and application of these organisms in brewing. The goal is to offer a starting point for product development specialists to make informed decisions about rapidly changing technology and nomenclature, as well as provide a perspective into regulatory affairs involved in bringing such technology to market. As routine use of genetically engineered brewing strains gains traction, they will undoubtedly have a resonating impact on how novel beers are produced and perceived.

Keywords: Keywords: bioengineered, gene editing, genetic engineering, genetic modification, genetically engineered, Saccharomyces cerevisiae​

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