Winner Grant 2016

Pia Snitkjaer: Cooking with beer – Understanding the loss of ethanol
Department of Food Science, University of Copenhagen, Denmark

Background:
Alcoholic beverages, in particular wine and beer, are used for cooking across cultures mainly for enhancing flavor in a variety of food preparations. Beer is also used in batter formulations in order to increase crispiness of fried products. Scientific studies have shown a reduction in carcinogenic compounds when marinating meat in wine or beer prior to frying. Because of the great culinary potential combined with the demonstrated health benefits, it is desirable to promote the use of beer in cooking. One concern is however the amount of ethanol retained in the prepared foods. Since many people for various reasons including religion, pregnancy or driving wish to control their ethanol intake strictly knowledge on this topic is crucial. Knowledge on ethanol retention when cooking foods is also important to correct energy calculations in food. We believe that beer has a great potential to increase in popularity as a natural and healthy flavour enhancing ingredient in a range of foods, but this must be supported by more knowledge on the remaining ethanol concentration after cooking.

Objective:
The hypothesis is that the final ethanol concentration in foods cooked with alcoholic bevarages depends on several parameters such as time and temperature during preparation, initial ethanol concentration and the food matrix. We aim to provide knowledge that can be used as a tool to control and predict the final ethanol concentrations in foods. 

Methodology:
We will systematically study the ethanol concentration before, during and after preparation of foods prepared with beer, representing common uses of beer in cooking. We will study how the ethanol retention is affected by the culinary practice applied and the food matrix. Ethanol will be quantified using head space gas chromatography mass spectrometry.

Keywords:
Cooking, ethanol, beer

Publication supported by grant:
Retained ethanol in fried batters prepared with alcoholic beverages. Pia Snitkjær, Camilla Gregersen, Mikael Agerlin Petersen. Journal of Gastronomy and Food Science 2018.