Singapore Researchers brewed up probiotic bacteria in beer

National University of Singapore (NUS) researchers Alcine Chan Mei Zhi and Associate Professor Liu Shao Quan (L) pose with their pint of "gut-friendly" probiotic sour beer, which incorporates a probiotic strain that helps to neutralise toxins, at their Faculty of Science lab in Singapore July 14, 2017. Picture July 14, 2017. REUTERS/Edgar Su

Vastavam web: Researchers in Singapore have brewed up a beer containing probiotic bacteria that can improve gut health and boost the immune system.Food researcher Alcine Chan, 23, experimented for almost a year with a recipe of malt, alcohol, hops and a strain of probiotic bacteria, until she got the formula just right.The popularity of beer promises huge market potential for the process, she said, adding that she hoped it would reach as many consumers as possible.

Chan, who perfected the beer recipe as a project for the senior year of her degree, said she drew inspiration from the probiotic yoghurt and dairy drinks she consumes every day.The pale, bubbly drink tastes slightly sweet and has 3.5 percent alcohol content, just under the 4 percent to 6 percent of regular beers. Every 100 ml (3.4 oz) of the drink, or roughly just over a mouthful, contains 1 billion probiotic organisms.”The beer is simply a new vehicle for delivering probiotics and the associated health benefits,” said Chan’s project supervisor, Liu Shao Quan, adding that it had not yet been given a name.

Melissa Mak, founder of Fermentation Friends, a group that holds workshops on making fermented probiotic food and beverages, said she would give the beer a try.Liu’s team has also experimented with flavoured coffees and wines made from Southeast Asia’s popular lychee and durian fruits.But it will be some time before bars can offer the new beer, as the researchers wait for their drink to be patented. The pair are also in talks with beer companies on marketing plans, Liu said, without giving details.