New barley keeps beer fresher, longer

Adelaide University researcher Dr Jason Eglinton recently announced the development of a new type of barley capable of keeping beer fresher, longer.

Eglinton attributed the barley’s unique qualities to a defective enzyme. He said in normal barleys, the enzyme triggered reactions that, over time, produced stale, cardboard-like tastes.

But, in the new barley, the reactions don’t happen – meaning beer keeps its fresh flavour longer.

Eglinton says the research team developed the barley in conjunction with Japanese brewer Sapporo and commercial production is to begin in South Australia this year.

In 2007 Sapporo developed a comparable barley in Canada and planned to produce about 90,000 tonnes a year in Canada by 2011.  Sapporo applied for patents in about 30 countries at the time – indicating the commercial value of such a breakthrough.

Eglinton says the new barley suits Australian conditions and he expects Sapporo to make similar commercial use as they have with the Canadian version.

Copyright © Chris Shanahan 2013
First published 15 May 2013 in The Canberra Times