© 2024 Michigan State University Board of Trustees
Public Media from Michigan State University
Play Live Radio
Next Up:
0:00
0:00
0:00 0:00
Available On Air Stations

Bioengineering Beer Foam

FLORA LICHTMAN, HOST:

And one last salute to science before the weekend. Here are some news you can raise the glass to. Microbiologist Tomas Villa and colleagues report that they may be able to bioengineer better beer foam. That's right.

TOMAS G. VILLA: Beer foam. Foam is what you like the most in a beer. And a beer drinker wants foam to stay longer, right?

LICHTMAN: Of course. And the secret to long-lasting froth, proteins, produced by barley and yeast during fermentation.

VILLA: The hydroforming portion of the protein sticks inside the bubble and the hydrophilic bubbles of protein sticks out of the bubble.

LICHTMAN: The protein coat stabilizes the bubble, leading to a longer lifespan. Villa and colleagues identified the gene in a lager yeast strain that codes for this protein. And they say they can insert it into other brewer's yeast, producing beer with foamy heads that can last for hours. Cheers.

You can learn more about Dr. Tomas Gonzales Villa's research on our website, along with everything else on our website, including a video tour of Dr. Oliver Sacks' desk. I don't think you want to miss that. Transcript provided by NPR, Copyright NPR.

Journalism at this station is made possible by donors who value local reporting. Donate today to keep stories like this one coming. It is thanks to your generosity that we can keep this content free and accessible for everyone. Thanks!