Brewing is a highly complex stepwise process that starts with a mashing step during which starch is gelatinized and converted into oligo- and/or monosaccharides by enzymes and heat. The starch is mostly degraded and utilised during the fermentation process, but grains and hops both contain additional soluble and insoluble complex polysaccharides within their cell walls that persist and can have beneficial or detrimental effects on the brewing process. Previous studies have mostly been restricted to analysing the grain and/or malt prior to entering the brewing process, but here we track the fates of polysaccharides during the entire brewing process. To do this, we utilised a novel approach based on carbohydrate microarray technology. We demonstrate the successful application of this technology to brewing science and show how it can be utilised to obtain an unprecedented level of knowledge about the underlying molecular mechanisms at work.
- Glycan arrays