Hard to stomach

In the Chemical and Engineering News, 14 February, we’re told that drinking beer stimulates the secretion of gastric acid – and that too much of this is not good for us. Hardy surprising news, you would think. But researcher Veronika Somoza of the University of Vienna extended the range of compounds in beer known to do this.

Previous research had confirmed ethanol and several acids formed by fermentation of glucose as culprits. But the new research looked at the bitter acids from hops.

Somoza’s team tested the response of human gastric cells to the individual compounds in fives styles of German and Austrian beer. She concluded that the more bitter the compound the greater its stimulation of gastric juices.

Somoza said as a result of her research “Brewers could produce more stomach-friendly beers by choosing their hops and controlling how long they heat the ingredients”.

Copyright © Chris Shanahan 2012
First published 29 February 2012 in The Canberra Times