A wise man once said that there is no such thing as bad beer. It's just that some taste better than others. A few researchers dug deep to figure out why beer tastes the way it does and found the answer. According to a study which was published in the journal Cell Reports, yeast gives beer it's unique taste. Beer yeast produces certain chemicals that mimic the smell of fruits in order to attract flies. Once the flies land on the yeast, the tiny organisms get stuck to the flies and are transported to other locations where they spread and multiply. According to Kevin Verstrepen from the University of Leuven, "The importance of yeast in beer brewing has long been underestimated. But recent research shows that the choice of a particular yeast strain or variety explains differences in taste between different beers and wines." He added, "In fact, yeasts may even be responsible for much of the terroir, the connection between a particular growing area and wine flavour, which previously often was attributed to differences in the soil." Yeast has always been an essential element in the production of bread, beer and wine. However, the role of yeast cells is much more complex than the conversion of sugars into alcohol and carbon dioxide. Yeast cells also produce several aroma compounds that are responsible for the taste, flavour and overall quality of beer and wine.Different yeast strains produce different amounts of aroma compounds. Although now, the importance of yeast aroma production is fully appreciated, it remains unclear as to why yeast cells make these special, volatile chemicals.
Emre Yaksi, the neuroscientist who led the experiments on flies, concluded by saying that "Flies are strongly attracted to normal yeast cells, when compared to mutant yeasts that don't produce esters. Knowing that esters make beer taste good, it seems that the same flavours that allow us to enjoy our beer, probably evolved to attract flies and to help yeast disperse into broader ecosystems."Inputs from PTIReaders are strictly advised that consumption of alcohol is injurious to health. NDTV or this article does not encourage consumption of alcohol/liquor.
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