Scientists in the US have discovered for the first time a method – with the help of genetic engineering – to give beer the characteristic taste of hops, without the beer containing any of its herbal ingredients at all.
The researchers used a DNA modulation software to introduce genes from the mint and basil plants into yeast yeast, thus replacing the hops. They said their technique could help the beer industry reduce its dependence on hops.
Hops is a fruit of the Humulus lupulus plant used in beer at least from the 11th century to give it a special flavor, balancing the sweetness of malt with its bitterness and helping to form foam.
Researchers, led by Professor James Craig of the Department of Chemical Engineering at the University of California-Berkeley, who published the publication in Nature Communications, according to the French Agency and Science, modified the genome of the fungus, from which produces the beer yeast (its “living” ingredient that converts the sugars into alcohol), so that they can achieve a taste similar to hops by introducing genes from other plants, peppermint and basil.
The results were extremely convincing, as shown by the “blind” taste tests that followed. Even the employees of a beer industry thought that genetically modified beer contained only more hops than usual.
Because hops is a plant that requires large amounts of water and fertilizers for their cultivation, the new method, if used commercially, can have a positive impact on the environment and savings, and may reduce the price of beer.