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Beer Spoilage Prevention
Using natural antimicrobial peptides
Possible Applications
Basic overview
Beer spoilage is a major concern to every Master Brewer in the
world. Contamination of brews with beer spoiling bacteria can lead to
loss of entire batches of beer resulting in severe financial losses for
the brewery.
Industries sources indicate that “Product withdrawal of 3 weeks stock
due to Lactobacillus contamination from a standard size brewery
have resulted in losses of up to €3 million. Product withdrawal or
recall can have major implications for Brand and business. Bacterial
contamination is also a problem in all kinds of fermentations
including bioethanol production.
 Defensins provide a way to prevent beer spoilage during
The technology can be adapted to control bacterial fermentations
in any fermentation process including bioethanol production
Provides added neutraceutic value to the product as the small
quantities of the antimicrobial peptide remaining in the lager can
enhance the natural levels of -defensin in the oral cavity.
What Problem does it Solve
The innovative aspect of the technology utilises antimicrobial
compounds that could reduce or eliminate bacterial contamination
during the fermentation process.
We focused on group of naturally occurring positively charged
antimicrobial peptides called Defensins.
Defensins are found in the human oral cavity and form part of the
human innate immune response against bacterial infections.
We engineered a brewery strain of yeast to express and produce
the Human -defensin-3 (HBD-3) during the fermentation process.
Expression of defensins in yeasts can eliminate bacterial
contamination during fermentation
The bio-engineered strain secretes Defensins into the beer and
reduces or eliminates bacteria seeded into the beer.
Technology and Patent Status
A priority patent application entitled Preventing Spoilage in
Alcohol Fermentations has been filed with the US patent office
Bespoke yeast strains expressing defensins can be generated to
suit any industrial application.
Bacterial contamination can occur during yeast
fermentations used in the production of potable
and non potable alcohol.
Benefits of Defensins in Fermenting Yeast
The technology forms part of a suite of applications aims at
improving yeast strains for the Fermentation Industry.
The opportunity
A naturally occurring antimicrobial peptide
First line of defence, part of innate immune response
Bacterial resistance is rare
This technology is is available for license to companies involved in
the fermentation industry. There is further opportunity to collaborate
with Trinity College for yeast strain manipulation
Effective under fermentation condtions
No effect on the lager yeasts
Dr. Ursula Bond
[email protected]
+ 353 1 8962578
Technology Transfer contact
[email protected]
+ 353 1 8964152