Cheers, mate!

Wikipebeer Image: Wikimedia Commons.
Wikipebeer Image: Wikimedia Commons.

A few years ago ‘-omics’ were all the rage in bio­logy: meta­bolo­m­ics, gen­om­ics, tran­scrip­tom­ics, etc. And for tra­di­tional [a euphem­ism for old-fashioned (?)] bot­an­ists like myself it seemed that a very strange, brave new world was unfold­ing, and one occa­sion­ally wondered what all the fuss was about. Well, it all makes per­fect sense now that I’ve stumbled across prob­ably the most import­ant –omic study of them all, the pro­teome of beer (a cereal-based alco­holic bever­age, appar­ently the third most pop­u­lar drink on the planet). In an invest­ig­a­tion that must cheer every dis­ciple of the cask-conditioner’s art, Elisa Fasoli and col­leagues (Journal of Proteome Research 9: 5262–5269, 2010) eval­u­ated the beer pro­teome ‘via prior cap­ture with com­bin­at­or­ial pep­tide lig­and lib­rar­ies (ProteoMiner as well as a homemade lib­rary of reduced poly­dis­persity)’. Try say­ing that after a few, err, ‘exper­i­ments’(!). The ser­i­ous, sober, sci­entific study iden­ti­fied 20 dif­fer­ent bar­ley pro­tein fam­il­ies and two maize pro­teins – the only cer­eal ones to sur­vive the brew­ing pro­cess – in their chosen tipple. It is hoped such inform­a­tion may help in the quest to select ‘proper pro­tein­aceous com­pon­ents that might enrich beer fla­vor and tex­ture’. Sadly, the study was con­duc­ted spe­cific­ally on so-called ‘lager beer’ and we must await its exten­sion to real ale; nev­er­the­less, this is the sort of feel-good work that I think we can all raise a glass to! I won­der if they need a research assist­ant to help out with a pro­tocol that ‘per­mits hand­ling of very large beer volumes (litres, if needed[!!]) in a very simple and user-friendly man­ner and in a much reduced sample hand­ling time’? If you would like to see a short video about the res­tor­at­ive effects of a liquid product from Carslberg (other lager makers do exist, prob­ably…), visit http://​www​.you​tube​.com/​w​a​t​c​h​?​v​=​Y​A​N​e​3​o​1​d​gG0.

Nigel Chaffey. ORCID 0000-0002-4231-9082

Nigel is a botanist and full-time academic at Bath Spa University (Bath, near Bristol, UK). As News Editor for the Annals of Botany he contributes the monthly Plant Cuttings column to that august international botanical organ. His main goal is to inform (hopefully, in an educational, and entertaining way...) about plants and plant-people interactions.

Pin It on Pinterest

Liked this?

Be the first to share this post with your friends!