Probiotic beer created at Singapore university has 'commercial potential'

Cheers: Associate Professor Liu Shao Quan and Chan Mei Zhi Alcine.

Researchers in Singapore who have created a probiotic beer are on the lookout for industry partners to launch the product to consumers.

Under the supervision of Associate Professor Liu Shao Quan from the National University of Singapore Food Science and Technology Programme, student Chan Mei Zhi Alcine has spent nine months creating a recipe that achieves the optimal count of live probiotics in the beer. 

This new beer incorporates the probiotic strain Lactobacillus paracasei L26.

Speaking to us earlier today, Professor Liu said the beer met the recommendation set by the International Scientific Association for Probiotics and Prebiotics to have a minimum of one billion probiotics per serving in order to attain maximum health benefits.

The probiotic count also meets the guidelines three weeks after production, he added.

However, Assoc Prof Liu said he was unable to reveal details of the production process because the research team had filed a patent to protect the recipe.

Healthy brew

The final product, which takes around a month to brew, has an alcohol content of about 3.5%. He added that it was a sour beer, similar to a Belgian lambic brew.

He said: “The general health benefits associated with consuming food and beverages with probiotic strains have driven demand dramatically. In recent years, consumption of craft or specialty beers has gained popularity too. Alcine’s invention is placed in a unique position that caters to these two trends. I am confident that the probiotic gut-friendly beer will be well-received by beer drinkers, as they can now enjoy their beers and be healthy.” 

He added he was keen to hear from major or craft breweries to discuss commercial opportunities.

"We are happy to work with the big breweries or craft beer companies to look at how we can commercialise or license the beer," he said, adding that the research team was also working on another probiotic alcoholic beverage that couldn't yet be disclosed.

 

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The Probiota series is growing, and in October 2017, Singapore will host the first ever Probiota Asia event. Building on the success of the annual global Probiota and Probiota Americas events, Probiota Asia will focus exclusively on this high-growth market and the challenges it faces.

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