Malt Roasting: Development Of Novel Flavour Extracts Through Microwave Processing

Lead Research Organisation: University of Nottingham
Department Name: Sch of Biosciences


The brewing industry needs 'clean label' flavourings to develop novel products and improve the palatability of low and non-alcoholic beers. Hop aroma fractions extracted using liquid CO2 have achieved commercial success in this market. It is proposed that similar products, based on fractionating the diverse flavours in roasted cereal products, could prove equally successful. Advantages of this approach include sustainable and efficient product use (downstream addition) and the ability to create novel flavours by fractionation.
As a pre-requisite to commercialisation it is necessary to maximise the overall concentration of flavour compounds in roasted malt substrates, since this is too low in conventional products for cost-effective extraction. This studentship will thus explore innovative ways of maximising the flavour content of roasted products, including the development of novel microwave malt processing with the potential to maximise flavour development via volumetric heating throughout the malt kernel.
A series of approaches will be applied to determine their efficacy at increasing absolute concentrations of flavour in roasted products. e.g: i) the use of enzymes to increase concentrations of flavour precursors. ii) imbibing malt with flavour precursors or modifiers (sugars, organic acids) prior to roasting. iii) milling prior to roasting to increase surface area for heat transfer.
The impacts of microwave versus conventional heating will be investigated for each approach.
The principal supervisor has substantial expertise in thermal flavour generation during cereal roasting processes [1-3]. The microwave process engineering team have a proven track record in the research, development, scale-up and commercialisation of microwave technologies across a diverse range of sectors and applications. In prior collaborations we have evaluated microwave/ RF drying of barley malt [4] and developed putative microwave roasting processes which enabled us to gather proof-of-principle data showing the development of roasted products with novel flavour characteristics. Microwave heating offers highly accurate control of temperature profile which enables the roasting process to be fine-tuned to maximise the evolution of desirable flavours and minimise unwanted ones


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Studentship Projects

Project Reference Relationship Related To Start End Student Name
EP/R513283/1 30/09/2018 29/09/2023
2418046 Studentship EP/R513283/1 01/02/2020 31/01/2024 Andrew Foulkes
EP/T517902/1 30/09/2020 29/09/2025
2418046 Studentship EP/T517902/1 01/02/2020 31/01/2024 Andrew Foulkes