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Journal Article

Heavy and light beer: A carbon isotope approach to detect C4 carbon in beers of different origins, styles, and prices

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http://pubman.mpdl.mpg.de/cone/persons/resource/persons62349

Buchmann,  N.
Research Group Biodiversity Ecosystem, Dr. N. Buchmann, Max Planck Institute for Biogeochemistry, Max Planck Society;

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Citation

Brooks, J. R., Buchmann, N., Phillips, S., Ehleringer, B., Evans, R. D., Lott, M., et al. (2002). Heavy and light beer: A carbon isotope approach to detect C4 carbon in beers of different origins, styles, and prices. Journal of Agricultural and Food Chemistry, 50(22), 6413-6418.


Cite as: http://hdl.handle.net/11858/00-001M-0000-000E-CEBC-1
Abstract
The carbon isotope ratios (delta(13)C) of 160 beers from around the world ranged from -27.3 to -14.9%., primarily due to variation in the percentage of C-3 or C-4 plant carbon in the final product. Thirty-one percent of beers had a carbon signature of C-3 plants (barley, rice, etc.), whereas the remaining 69% contained some C-3-C-4 mixture (mean of mixtures, 39 +/- 11% C-4 carbon). Use Of C-4 carbon (corn, cane sugar, etc.) was not confined to beers from any particular region (Pacific Rim, Mexico, Brazil, Europe, Canada, and the United States). However, the delta(13)C of European beers indicated Mostly C-3 plant carbon. In contrast, U.S. and Canadian beers contained either only C-3 or C-3-C-4 mixtures; Brazilian, Mexican, and Pacific Rim beers were Mostly C-3-C-4 mixtures. Among different lagers, U.S.-style lagers generally contained more C-4 carbon than did imported pilsners. Among different ales, those brewed by large high-production breweries contained significant proportions Of C-4 carbon, while C-4 carbon was not detected in microbrewery or home-brew ales. Furthermore, inexpensive beers generally contained more C-4 carbon than expensive beers.