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Monitoring the evolution of free and cysteinylated aldehydes from malt to fresh and forced aged beer

Journal Contribution - Journal Article

During storage, beer staling coincides with a gradual increase in the concentrations of aldehydes resulting in the appearance of undesirable flavours. Cysteinylated aldehydes, also referred to as 2-substituted 1,3-thiazolidine-4-carboxylic acids, have been proposed as potential precursors of this increase. This study aimed to further understand the origin of aldehydes in aged beer, by monitoring both free and cysteinylated aldehydes throughout the brewing process, from the raw materials until the stored product. Quantification of free and cysteinylated aldehydes was performed for two different brews via headspace solid phase microextraction-gas chromatography-mass spectrometry (HS-SPME-GC-MS) and ultra-high performance liquid chromatography-mass spectrometry (UHPLC-MS), respectively. All selected marker aldehydes were quantified in malt, wort, and the resulting fresh and aged beer samples. Cysteinylated aldehydes were quantifiable in malt and up to the wort boiling phase. The highest levels of free aldehydes were found in malt, whereas cysteinylated aldehydes showed highest levels at mashing-in pointing to their formation during both malting and subsequent mashing-in. During beer ageing, an increase in all free aldehydes was measured. In particular, a rise in 2-methylpropanal and furfural is most striking. Although the presented experimental data obtained on malt and brewery samples do support the concept of bound-state aldehydes, cysteinylated aldehydes cannot be consider as the cause of increasing levels of staling aldehydes during beer ageing.
Journal: Food Research International
ISSN: 0963-9969
Volume: 140
Number of pages: 10
Publication year:2021