Would a beer labeled as “healthy” spark your interest at the pub? Researchers in Singapore have created a beer that contains probiotics, which have been proven to improve gut health and boost the immune system.
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The unnamed beer is made from the usual ingredient trifecta: malt, alcohol and hops. But it’s that last ingredient that really threw food researchers like Alcine Chan for a loop. She tells Reuters:
Hops is the main ingredient that kills probiotics, so we had to find a way to allow the probiotics to overcome the hops. So, this process actually is quite tedious.
Seeing the market potential for beer, Chan chose it as the host for her senior year project at the National University of Singapore’s Food Science and Technology Program.
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Chan’s project supervisor, Professor Liu Shao Quan, tells Reuters that the beer is simply a new vehicle for delivering probiotics and the associated health benefits. Quan says his team has also experimented with flavored coffees and wines made from Southeast Asia’s popular lychee and durian fruits. Speaking to Science Daily he says:
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.
It will be a while before bars can start stocking up on the gut-friendly beer that’s only 3.5% alcohol and has a taste described as sweet; its inventors are still waiting on a patent.