DEVELOPMENT OF A BEER SPECIALTY BASED ON MALT, HOP AND MACRO ALGAE
Consumers are constantly looking for new foods and new taste experiences. In 2015 sales of novelty products accounted for 5.8% in the food sector (ref. ZEW industry report). The ‘AG Lebensmitteltechnologie’ serves this request by using resources from the ocean. Macro algae for example have very high nutritional value. Preliminary research to make use of marine resources came up with a beverage base with macro algae as main ingredient. At our center for applied food research it was produced on a laboratory scale using a new fermentation process (1 to 50 liter per batch).
In 2017 a brewery of craft-beers from Schleswig Holstein used the beverage base from algae for a new beer specialty. In collaboration with us different variants were examined and tested according to type of beer and proper balance of beer and beverage base to create the perfect taste. The favorite was a mix with a pils beer. For this specific pils the barley is grown at a neighboring field especially for the brewery and a special malting process is used. It combines the aromatic properties of beer with a touch of sweetness and the distinctive flavor of algae.
In December the first batch was manufactured and bottled in a commercial-scale plant. Initial ideas to optimize the production process have already been implemented. In addition, new insight concerning influence and processing of the raw material algae have been acquired. We are supporting our industrial partners from the very beginning of developing the product up to scale-up enabling further production to run smoothly and with maximum cost efficiency.
In 2018 the product was introduced to the market at trade fairs and other events. According to the market research company Innova Market insight in 2018 this project combines already two of the Top Ten Driver: “Lighter Enjoyment” and “Ocean Garden”.
1) It’s light as it has an alcohol content of only 50% of a regular beer. This market has been growing in recent years by 6%.
2) The macro algae that is being used is growing in the “Ocean Garden”. This sustainably growing plant from the sea is becoming more and more prominent in all areas of the food industry.
The work group food technology will continue to develop innovative products and make applied research very appealing.