When it comes to foods that are a good source of probiotics, we often think of things like yogurt and dark chocolate. Beer, though? Not so much, as the hop acids in most beers tend to kill off probiotic bacteria. That isn't the case with a new beer, however, created by Food Science and Technology student Chan Mei Zhi Alcine, at the National University of Singapore.

The specialty beer incorporates the probiotic strain Lactobacillus paracasei L26. The "good bacteria" was initially isolated from the human intestine, and is able to neutralize toxins and viruses, along with regulating the immune system. Like other probiotics, it's also good for the digestive system.

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"We used a lactic acid bacterium as a probiotic micro-organism," says Alcine, who modified conventional brewing and fermentation processes to make the beer. "It will utilize sugars present in the wort to produce sour-tasting lactic acid, resulting in a beer with sharp and tart flavours. The final product, which takes around a month to brew, has an alcohol content of about 3.5 percent."

Working with Associate Professor Liu Shao Quan, Alcine is now looking for industry partners to help commercialize the beer.

Source: National University of Singapore