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Genetically engineered yeast could make whiskey less expensive

| | December 20, 2016
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This article or excerpt is included in the GLP’s daily curated selection of ideologically diverse news, opinion and analysis of biotechnology innovation.

Biotech company BioTork has engineered strains of yeast that demonstrate increased ethanol yields and decreased time needed for fermentation, according to a news release.

“The yeasts employed to ferment traditional whiskey substrates are often not capable of fully fermenting the grain substrate, leaving potential revenues on the table in the form of unmade ethanol and resulting in higher costs due to the need to clean distillation columns more frequently,” per the news release.

BioTork hopes to remedy this challenge by developing strains of yeast derived from currently used distillery strains that can produce up to 20% more ethanol. Also, the fermentation time can be 1 to 2 days shorter compared to traditional whiskey worts, the liquid extracted during the mashing process.

To the benefit of a growing U.S. and global base of whiskey-drinking consumers, increased yields could mean a larger supply and potentially lower prices for whiskey at retail. …

A more feasible obstacle could be convincing health-conscious consumers of the safety and quality of whiskey made with genetically engineered yeast strains. …

However, what many consumers may not realize is that many whiskey brands are already genetically modified because of their use of GMO corn, which comprises the vast majority of corn produced in the U.S.

The GLP aggregated and excerpted this blog/article to reflect the diversity of news, opinion and analysis. Read full, original post: How will consumers respond to genetically modified whiskey yeast?

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