When you taste a wine or beer that calls up the flavor of rose or honey think phenylethyl acetate; it’s a by-product of the yeast cells that turn sugar into alcohol to make wine and beer. Now, says Belgium microbiologists in a research paper, those flavors and more can be purposely developed in yeast strains using the latest gene-swapping scientific method.
The researchers found “swaths of DNA” containing multiple genes with one causative gene linked to high production of the flavor compound phenylethyl acetate. They also identified the part of genes that are responsible for intense production of the flavor.
[A]fter their gene discovery they set out to create yeast strains that produce desirable flavors.
[One of the researchers] claims it’s already possible for microbiologists to create desirable flavors by selecting hybrid strains, but it is a time-consuming process. It’s also a risky process that works in the lab but doesn’t always work in the winery or brewery, where it can produce an off-fermentation. His research proves to him that the best way to engineer desirable traits in yeasts is to use the gene-swapping process known as CRISPR/Cas9.
The GLP aggregated and excerpted this article to reflect the diversity of news, opinion and analysis. Read full, original post: Scientists Have Identified A Yeast Gene That Gives Wine And Beer Special Flavors