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A Powerful Analytical Indicator to Drive Varietal Thiols Release in Beers: The Thiol Potency
A. Roland, S. Delpech and L. Dagan

The 3-mercaptohexan-1-ol (3MH), the 3-mercaptohexylacetate (3MHA) and the 4-mercapto-4-methylpentan-2-one (4MMP) have been identified as key aroma compounds in beers due to their appreciated olfactory notes. Hops (Humulus lupulus) contains substantial amount of these aroma compounds either as free form or as flavorless precursors. The chemical characterization of hops (thiols and thiol precursors) represents main advantages such as robustness, versatility but also integration in the decision-making procedure for brewers. For this purpose, we developed a Thiol Potency indicator (TP), which is based on chemical data, sensory perceptions and statistical operations. The thiol potency allowed mainly to segment hop aroma quality, choose complementary raw ingredient or drive hopping usages and fit with the needs of craft and industrial breweries. In the future, this indicator could be used as a universal label on hop packaging as aroma quality indicator and extended to other families of aroma compounds to build a standardized aroma quality index.

Descriptors: thiols, hops, hopping usages, thiol precursors, analysis

BrewingScience, 70 (November/December 2017), pp. 170-175