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Scientists Devise Way to Make Non-Alcoholic Beer Taste Better

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It involves a "semipermeable membrane" and condensing gas.


Researchers in Spain may have devised a way for your non-alcoholic O'Douls to taste less terrible. Modern Farmer brings word of a study and subsequent taste-test conducted by the University de Valladolid that "re-inserts" the beer flavor into non-alcoholic beer. As the magazine notes, beer like O'Douls is brewed using traditional booze-creating methods, but its creators then have to manually extract the alcohol (and thus, much of the beer's flavor) in order to make it a non-alcoholic beverage.

But in a new study published in the Journal of Food Engineering, University de Valladolid scientists applied a "pervaporation process" to recover the compounds extracted from alcoholic beer, condensing the aromatics into a gas. The gas, which contains no alcohol, could then be re-inserted into the non-alcoholic beer to help mimic some of the beer's original taste. According to the study, taste-testers overwhelmingly preferred the non-alcoholic beer with added aromatics over its normal, "non-enriched" counterpart. It's unclear from the study how cost-effective the process might be for beer manufacturers, but perhaps there's hope yet for those stuck drinking flavorless, non-boozy beer.

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