Differential evolution of Strecker and non-Strecker aldehydes during aging of pale and dark beers

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle


  • Brian Gibson
  • Ville Aumala

  • Raija Liisa Heiniö
  • Atte Mikkelson
  • Kaisu Honkapää

Research units

  • VTT Technical Research Centre of Finland


To determine characteristics associated with stability, 35 commercial beers were aged naturally. Chemical instability, as determined by increase in aldehyde concentration during aging, was associated with beer color. In particular, darker beers produced disproportionately high levels of Strecker aldehydes. Other attributes of fresh beer showed little or no correlation with stability. The relationship between color and instability was confirmed experimentally by brewing and fermenting worts of different color, which were otherwise identical. Increases were noted also for the non-Strecker aldehydes furfural and hexanal during aging but concentrations were not influenced by beer color. Potential aldehyde precursors: higher alcohols and amino acids, were not higher in the dark worts and the higher aldehyde concentration is therefore not dependent on pre-cursor concentration. Supplementation of the amino acid isoleucine to fresh beer promoted the formation of 2-methylbutanal particularly in dark beers, presumably due to increased Strecker degradation. Conversely, addition of the higher alcohol 2-methylbutanol led to higher concentrations of 2-methylbutanal irrespective of beer color. Increased Strecker degradation reactions may explain, at least in part, the higher level of Strecker aldheydes observed in dark beers after aging.


Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)130-138
Number of pages9
JournalJournal of Cereal Science
Publication statusPublished - 1 Sep 2018
MoE publication typeA1 Journal article-refereed

    Research areas

  • Aldehyde, Antioxidant potential, Beer stability, Flavor

ID: 29222935