Recent advances in the malting and brewing industry

Matti Linko, Auli Haikara, Anneli Ritala, Merja Penttilä

    Research output: Contribution to journalArticleScientificpeer-review

    115 Citations (Scopus)


    Brewing is often mentioned as a typical example of traditional or old biotechnology, because of its extremely long history. However, the modern malting and brewing industry applies a whole spectrum of new technical, biochemical, microbiological and genetic inventions. Examples of contemporary achievements can be found along the whole production chain from barley to beer. Malted barley contains all the enzymes needed for all-malt brews. Exogenous microbial enzymes may be needed when using high amounts of cereal adjuncts. Transgenic barleys and proper starter cultures in malting offer interesting new possibilities to ensure balanced enzyme activities and to avoid harmful Fusarium contaminations. High gravity brewing, automated mash filters and hop extracts produced with super-critical or liquid carbon dioxide have been adopted by the industry. Continuous bioreactors with immobilized yeast are already used for maturation of beer. The residence time in the bioreactor is only 2 h, whereas several weeks are needed for traditional lagering. Continuous main fermentation with immobilized yeast is the next step. Several genetically modified brewer's yeasts have been constructed, e.g. yeasts encoding α-acetolactate decarboxylase and super-flocculating yeasts. The brewing industry is now waiting to be assured of consumer approval. Copyright (C) 1998 Elsevier Science B.V.

    Original languageEnglish
    Pages (from-to)85-98
    Number of pages14
    JournalJournal of Biotechnology
    Issue number2-3
    Publication statusPublished - 27 Oct 1998
    MoE publication typeA1 Journal article-refereed


    • Brewing
    • Genetically modified yeasts
    • Immobilization
    • Lactic starters
    • Malting
    • Transgenic barleys


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