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Microflora during Malting of Barley: Overview and Impact on Malt Quality
A. Just, S. Malfliet, M. Lenaerts, L. de Cooman, G. Aerts, K. A. Willems and B. Lievens

Malt is an important industrial product with a huge market outlet. The diverse microbial communities naturally colonizing barley grains greatly influence malt quality and subsequently other products in the malt value chain, in particular beer. In this manuscript, an overview is given of current knowledge of barley and malt-derived microorganisms and their impact on malt properties. In addition, emphasis is put on strategies to enhance the malting process, including the use of starter cultures and the management of endogenous microflora. Molecular studies on microbial community composition and function throughout the process will contribute to efficient implementation of these strategies, ultimately leading to more efficient wort production and enhanced beer flavour quality and stability. More specifically, these studies may lead to the discovery of novel, industrially important microbial strains or enzymes.

Descriptors: microbial characterisation, microbial community, microflora management, process optimisation, starter culture

BrewingScience Monatsschrift fr Brauwissenschaft, 64 (March/April 2011), pp. 22-31