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Int J Food Microbiol. 2003 Dec 31;89(2-3):105-24.

Beer spoilage bacteria and hop resistance.

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  • 1Fundamental Research Laboratory, Asahi Breweries, Ltd. 1-21, Midori 1-chome, Moriya-shi, Ibaraki 302-0106, Japan. kanta.sakamoto@asahibeer.co.jp

Abstract

For brewing industry, beer spoilage bacteria have been problematic for centuries. They include some lactic acid bacteria such as Lactobacillus brevis, Lactobacillus lindneri and Pediococcus damnosus, and some Gram-negative bacteria such as Pectinatus cerevisiiphilus, Pectinatus frisingensis and Megasphaera cerevisiae. They can spoil beer by turbidity, acidity and the production of unfavorable smell such as diacetyl or hydrogen sulfide. For the microbiological control, many advanced biotechnological techniques such as immunoassay and polymerase chain reaction (PCR) have been applied in place of the conventional and time-consuming method of incubation on culture media. Subsequently, a method is needed to determine whether the detected bacterium is capable of growing in beer or not. In lactic acid bacteria, hop resistance is crucial for their ability to grow in beer. Hop compounds, mainly iso-alpha-acids in beer, have antibacterial activity against Gram-positive bacteria. They act as ionophores which dissipate the pH gradient across the cytoplasmic membrane and reduce the proton motive force (pmf). Consequently, the pmf-dependent nutrient uptake is hampered, resulting in cell death. The hop-resistance mechanisms in lactic acid bacteria have been investigated. HorA was found to excrete hop compounds in an ATP-dependent manner from the cell membrane to outer medium. Additionally, increased proton pumping by the membrane bound H(+)-ATPase contributes to hop resistance. To energize such ATP-dependent transporters hop-resistant cells contain larger ATP pools than hop-sensitive cells. Furthermore, a pmf-dependent hop transporter was recently presented. Understanding the hop-resistance mechanisms has enabled the development of rapid methods to discriminate beer spoilage strains from nonspoilers. The horA-PCR method has been applied for bacterial control in breweries. Also, a discrimination method was developed based on ATP pool measurement in lactobacillus cells. However, some potential hop-resistant strains cannot grow in beer unless they have first been exposed to subinhibitory concentration of hop compounds. The beer spoilage ability of Pectinatus spp. and M. cerevisiae has been poorly studied. Since all the strains have been reported to be capable of beer spoiling, species identification is sufficient for the breweries. However, with the current trend of beer flavor (lower alcohol and bitterness), there is the potential risk that not yet reported bacteria will contribute to beer spoilage. Investigation of the beer spoilage ability of especially Gram-negative bacteria may be useful to reduce this risk.

PMID:
14623377
[PubMed - indexed for MEDLINE]
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