Is Cold Plasma Technology The Future Of Beer?

, Is Cold Plasma Technology The Future Of Beer?

Some scientists think that the use of cold plasma technology could keep mycotoxins out of your beer.

You might be asking the hell is cold plasma anyway, and while we’re at it, what the hell is a mycotoxin?

We had to look both of them up.

Mycotoxins are naturally occurring toxins produced by certain molds (fungi) and can be found in food. Fungus grows on a variety of different crops and can be found in the wheat and barley used in brewing, and nobody wants that.

Mycotoxins are associated with a variety of health concerns including DNA damage, kidney damage, DNA/RNA mutations, growth impairment in children, gene modifications, and immune impairment. But they can also limit grain germination (known as malting in the beer  biz) that is so important to the brewing process.

Malt is grain that has been specially prepared for brewing.

Brewing is the process of using water to extract sugar (along with other compounds) from grain. The term malt is synonymous with malted barley because the majority of the cereal grain malted in the world is barley, but other grains like wheat, oats or rye might be used as well.

Malt is the heart and soul of beer, you can’t brew without it.

And now a study published in the Journal of Food Engineering, has found that by using “cold plasma steeping technology” to “target fungal mycotoxins in wheat and barley grains” during the malting process could boost “grain germination by 10-13%

“Historically, mycotoxins have resisted high temperatures, which has meant that removing them from grains has previously been challenging,” reports the Drinks Business. Yet disabling toxins using cold plasma could assist in their removal, resulting more malt for brewing.”

Cold Plasma is described as an “emerging technology,” and since we know we’re throwing a lot at you, we turn to George Annor, Assistant Professor in the Department of Food Science and Nutrition at the University of Minnesota, to explain how it works…

“Cold plasma is generated when electrical energy is applied to a gas, causing the ionization of the gas to generate very reactive molecules or particles. A very simple way to understand how cold plasma works is to think of fluorescent tubes and neon signs. Inside a neon sign bulb there is neon gas and helium gas that glows when you flip a switch on the wall to introduce electricity.

“The electrical energy that is introduced into the neon bulb for example excites the gas molecules, causing them to release energy in the form of light. For cold plasma, when electrical energy is applied to air, it creates very reactive charged particles that can change the properties of food when the two come in contact.”

And now according to Ingredients Reports, the Canadian research scientists, have successfully reduced the the two major mycotoxins affecting grains by 54%, leading to safer beer for consumers and greater efficiency overall.

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