To ensure the quality of beer, one of the most widely consumed beverages in world, the fermentation process must be tracked from start to finish. For best results you have to assess all the flavor components, evaluate the impact of fragrance, and test the effects of new ingredients—which is where Agilent technologies can really help.
Beer makers use headspace gas chromatography combined with mass spectrometry, or flame ionization detection, to monitor the rise of desired characteristics in a batch to control flavor, or as a research and development tool for new beer products. They use ultra-high-performance liquid chromatography to monitor flavor-critical iso-alpha-acids coming from hops – the ingredient that gives beer its attractive bitter taste. These critical compounds are called isohumulones. Agilent now offers UHPLC methods that combine the analysis of all relevant isohumulones and reduced isohumulones in one analysis.
Beer also contains vitamins, polyphenols, amino acids, and minerals that confer health benefits. Agilent LC and LC/MS systems have been shown to accurately assess B vitamins in beer, as well as polyphenols, and our ICP-MS and ICP-OES platforms do a great job of assessing nutrients.
Beer can contain contaminants such as mycotoxins, biogenic amines, and heavy metals, along with various allergens. For each of these areas, Agilent has developed LC/MS and ICP-MS methods to effectively assess the end product’s suitability for human consumption, as defined by regulations.
Beer Analysis Article: Where Agilent Technologies Comes to a Head