Scientists are on the way to creating the perfect head of foam on a beer after uncovering the gene responsible for creating a frothing pint.
It is the proteins in wheat and yeast used in beer production that determine the quality of the foam, with carbon dioxide gas produced in fermentation. According to the beer-sipping scientists, proteins gather around the gas produced by the yeast, stabilising the foam and stopping it from disappearing, like a pint of cider generally tends to.
However, no one actually knew which yeast gene was responsible for creating the foam-stabilising protein, or until now at least.
Scientists have recently published a paper in the ACS’ Journal of Agricultural and Food Chemistry claiming to have revealed the identity of the magical foam-giving gene, CFG1.
CFG1 stands for ‘carlsbergensis foaming gene’, carlsbergenesis being the yeast originally discovered by an employee for the Danish brewery Carlsberg.
According to the reports cited in the discovery “opens the door to new possibilities for improving the frothy ‘head'”.
The advancement could have differing impacts depending on where the technique is employed. While most beer drinkers in Europe prefer a decent head on a beer, in the UK bar staff pouring a few extra millimetres of foam are likely to be greeted with dirty looks and an angry demand for a top-up.
Nevertheless it should see barflies across the world raising a glass to the wonders of genetic science if the research is successful in creating a better beer.