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27 May 2021

Natural hop solution for lightstruck in beer

Natural solution | IFast NV, a biotech company dedicated to the organoleptic and functional properties of food and drinks, has developed an innovative hop-based technology that provides a natural solution to the light taste in beer, also known as lightstruck, and which does not affect the organoleptic (bitter) properties of the beer.

Particularly with beer in transparent or green bottles, certain hop bitter substances, the iso alpha acids, break down under the influence of light, resulting in malodorous and bad tasting derivatives in the beer. Unlike previous non-natural light flavour solutions that add chemical derivatives of the hop bitterness, the new natural technology by IFast preserves the beer's flavour profile and maintains bitter stability.
The solution takes advantage of the beta acids present in hops, which are not currently used for bittering purposes in beer. These beta acids are converted into so-called hulupones via an aqueous process to which oxygen is added. The derived hulupone product is a liquid solution that brewers can easily inject into the beer stream after fermentation or lagering. Numerous comparative taste tests clearly showed that hulupones give an excellent and less lingering aftertaste, while the bitter stability is maintained over a longer period of time. Using the hulupone product allows brewers to use transparent or green bottles without compromising the bitter and aroma profile. Based on a hop product that can be naturally produced, this patented innovation provides a sustainable ecological solution to an age-old problem.