The enhancement of value in UK barley crops by Lipid Binding Proteins
About this project
Lipids can damage the quality of beer. Cereals contain a number of different proteins that can bind lipids, the lipid binding proteins (LBPs). These may offer beer some protection from these damaging effects.
Hence the aims of this project were:
1) To develop a simple method to analyse these proteins.
2) To survey the levels of extractable LBPs in barleys and malts, and to look at the effect of the malting and brewing processes on the resulting levels of LBPs in the final beer.
3) To examine the relationship between LBPs and the microbiological flora on the grain.
4) To examine the relationship between LBPs and flavour in the final beer.
We now have a simplified method to study and measure LBPs.
Different barleys were shown vary significantly in the level of LBPs that they contained. The levels were not influenced by microbiological loading of the grain, nor by pesticide usage or seed rate.
The malting process influenced LBP activity. The processing aid Gibberellic acid (GA) in particular could cause an increase in extractable LBP. The increases were probably linked to total protein changes. The levels of extractable LBP also increased during kilning.
Most LBP was lost during mashing. LBPs also had an influence on beer flavour so although high levels of LBP enhanced foam and may have promoted flavour stability they also influenced beer flavour.
An easier method to analyse LBPs will aid those concerned about foam quality to investigate various stages of the brewing process for problems in this area.
The farmer wishing to add value to the barley crop could select grains with high levels of LBP. Similarly the maltster could also exploit this work to enhance the foaming potential of the malted grain.
The brewer will be able to identify clearly where foam proteins are lost.
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