Singaporean Scientists Create the World’s First Probiotic Beer

Popular wisdom has it that beer is one of the main causes of abdominal fat. However, there are many types of beer and some may even impart health benefits owing to a rich nutritional profile. Alcohol is one of the main ingredients in beer, but it hasn’t been conclusively shown to contribute to gain weight. “Beer belly” of “beer gut” are, therefore, inaccurate colloquial terms for abdominal obesity. The truth is that the excess weight derives mainly from factors such as lack of physical exercise and overeating.

A recent creation by Singaporean scientists may help to change the public perception of beer for the better. Researchers at the National University of Singapore have created a probiotic beer that promotes optimal gut health and immune system.

Growing probiotics in a bacteriostatic environment

Driven by her love for probiotics, 4th-year Applied Sciences student Miss Chan Mei Zhi Alcine decided to create a probiotic beer. Nine months of experimentation yielded a recipe that ensures a proper count of the strain Lactobacillus paracasei L26 – 1 billion probiotics in one serving of beer. The researcher had to find a way to overcome the naturally bacteriostatic properties of beer to successfully infuse it with the live cultures. She did it by ingeniously modifying the fermentation and brewing processes and by growing probiotics in pure cultures. The result is a beer containing 3.5% of alcohol, where, according to Miss Chan, probiotics contribute to a sour and tart flavor.

Lactobacillus paracasei is a commensal bacterium frequently employed in fermented dairy products and probiotic supplements. It is prevalent in the human mouth and intestines, and can help treat irritable bowel syndrome. Lactic acid bacteria also help prevent pathogenic infections and regulate the immune system. The team of researchers involved in the project has already filed a patent for the probiotic beer recipe. They hope to see their invention gain traction among consumers given the skyrocketing increase of probiotic food sales. This is driven by greater public awareness of probiotic health benefits thanks to previous and ongoing research involving probiotics.

More probiotics in foods

The increasing public recognition of the importance of probiotics to human health is driving new research lines and market opportunities. In addition to beer, probiotics are being incorporated in other types of food, including candies such as dark chocolate bars. Some of these products are already being very well received by health-conscious consumers.