Title: Beer Brewing Safety: Protecting Your Pint from Bacterial Intruders
Greetings, beer enthusiasts! We appreciate your interest in the world of brewing. Today, we bring you insights from an intriguing research study conducted by Cornell University. While the story and logic remain the same, we’ve decided to present this information in a different format. So, grab your favorite pint (safely brewed, of course) and let’s delve into the fascinating world of low- and non-alcoholic beer.
Let’s get straight to the heart of the matter. Cornell University’s research team unraveled an interesting tale of bacteria lurking within the confines of low- and non-alcoholic beer. In their study published in the Journal of Food Protection, they shed light on the hidden dangers that lie within improperly brewed or stored beers.
The Dark Side of Alcohol Concentration:
You might be surprised to learn that traditional hurdles, such as alcohol concentration, play a vital role in preventing bacterial growth. Nontraditional beers, with their relatively low ethanol concentration, become breeding grounds for gnarly bacteria. The Cornell study emphasizes the impact of various factors like high pH, high sugar concentration, low carbon dioxide, and low hop bittering compounds in rendering these beverages more susceptible to spoilage microorganisms and foodborne pathogens.
A Long Journey for the Germs:
The researchers added a touch of drama to their study by inoculating canned beer samples from Genesee Brewing Company with a potent cocktail of E. coli, Salmonella enterica, and Listeria monocytogenes. Extending the suspense, they stored these samples at two temperatures (4 and 14 degrees Celsius) for a staggering 63 days. To the surprise of many, both E. coli O157:H7 and Salmonella thrived and survived in low- and non-alcoholic beers throughout this period.
Listeria, on the other hand, remained undetectable at all pH levels. This important finding highlights the dynamics of different pathogens and their ability to adapt to varying environments.
The Potential Risks:
Major strains of E. coli can cause severe illness in humans, as confirmed by Johns Hopkins Medicine. Furthermore, the study warns of the potential growth and toxin production of Clostridium botulinum in craft beverages with a pH higher than 4.60. Awareness of these risks is crucial for both brewers and consumers.
The Rising Trend:
Non-alcoholic beer has witnessed a significant surge in popularity in recent years. According to data from NielsenIQ, US sales of non-alcoholic beer rose by 32% in the 52 weeks through Sept. 9. This growth trend has averaged at an impressive 31% over four years, as reported by the Wall Street Journal.
Protecting Your Pint:
Considering the potential risks associated with low- and non-alcoholic beers, the Cornell researchers emphasize the need for stringent food safety plans in the brewing industry. Their recommendations include pasteurization, sterile filtration, and the addition of preservatives to reduce microbial risks. Additionally, regular sanitization of kegs, draught system tubing, and faucets, as well as following good handling and cleaning practices during the manufacturing process, are crucial precautions to safeguard the quality and safety of these beverages.
As we raise our glasses to the fascinating world of brewing, let’s not forget the importance of ensuring safe drinking experiences. The Cornell study serves as a reminder that low- and non-alcoholic beers may present unique challenges in terms of bacterial growth and pathogen propagation. By prioritizing food safety plans and implementing appropriate practices, both brewers and consumers can enjoy their favorite brews without compromising their well-being. Cheers to safe, delicious, and bacteria-free beer!