Aldehydes as Wort Off-Flavours in Alcohol-Free Beers—Origin and Control

D. C. Gernat, E. Brouwer, M. Ottens

Research output: Contribution to journalReview articlepeer-review

5 Citations (Scopus)
148 Downloads (Pure)


Although present in concentrations in microgrammes per litre level, aldehydes, in particular those derived from Strecker degradation, are known to majorly contribute to the undesired wort flavour of alcohol-free beers. In order to improve currently available products, one needs to understand the underlying cause for the over-prevalence and identify leverage points and methods to selectively reduce the aldehydes in alcohol-free beers. This work gives a short overview on relevant flavour-active wort flavours identified in alcohol-free beer and on their involved chemical formation pathways. Consequently, aldehyde removal technologies in general and in brewing industry are presented. Adsorptive removal of off-flavours by aldehyde-scavenging groups is already widely exploited in the packaging industry and may achieve reduction of these components to near depletion, depending on the process conditions. Its principles are adaptable to recovering off-flavours before filling. Also, supercritical CO2 extraction has been successfully applied to separate flavours from food matrices. In brewing, the focus has been set to biologic conversion by restricted fermentation steps, but the reduction of key components of more than 70% is not achieved. Newer developments focus on thermal separation techniques that not only include non-specific physical dealcoholisation but also more selective technologies such as pervaporation, where aldehydes are reduced to near depletion. However, for most unit operations, selectivity and capacity are not yet investigated. Future research should explore the shortcomings of current techniques and overcome bottlenecks either by developing more specific methods for aldehyde removal and/or a clever combination of unit operations to optimise the separation and process integration.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)195-216
Number of pages22
JournalFood and Bioprocess Technology
Issue number2
Publication statusPublished - 2019


  • Alcohol-free beer
  • Removal
  • Strecker aldehydes
  • Wort flavour


Dive into the research topics of 'Aldehydes as Wort Off-Flavours in Alcohol-Free Beers—Origin and Control'. Together they form a unique fingerprint.

Cite this