Open Access Open Badges Research

Revealing the beneficial effect of protease supplementation to high gravity beer fermentations using "-omics" techniques

Maya P Piddocke1, Alessandro Fazio2, Wanwipa Vongsangnak35, Man L Wong1, Hans P Heldt-Hansen4, Chris Workman2, Jens Nielsen3 and Lisbeth Olsson13*

Author Affiliations

1 Center for Microbial Biotechnology, Department of Systems Biology, Technical University of Denmark, DK-2800 Kongens Lyngby, Denmark

2 Center for Biological Sequence Analysis, Department of Systems Biology, Technical University of Denmark, DK-2800 Kongens Lyngby, Denmark

3 Chalmers University of Technology, Department of Chemical and Biological Engineering, SE-412 96 Gothenburg, Sweden

4 Brewing and Alcoholic Beverage Department, Novozymes A/S, Denmark

5 Center for Systems Biology, Soochow University, Suzhou 215006, China

For all author emails, please log on.

Microbial Cell Factories 2011, 10:27  doi:10.1186/1475-2859-10-27

Published: 23 April 2011



Addition of sugar syrups to the basic wort is a popular technique to achieve higher gravity in beer fermentations, but it results in dilution of the free amino nitrogen (FAN) content in the medium. The multicomponent protease enzyme Flavourzyme has beneficial effect on the brewer's yeast fermentation performance during high gravity fermentations as it increases the initial FAN value and results in higher FAN uptake, higher specific growth rate, higher ethanol yield and improved flavour profile.


In the present study, transcriptome and metabolome analysis were used to elucidate the effect on the addition of the multicomponent protease enzyme Flavourzyme and its influence on the metabolism of the brewer's yeast strain Weihenstephan 34/70. The study underlines the importance of sufficient nitrogen availability during the course of beer fermentation. The applied metabolome and transcriptome analysis allowed mapping the effect of the wort sugar composition on the nitrogen uptake.


Both the transcriptome and the metabolome analysis revealed that there is a significantly higher impact of protease addition for maltose syrup supplemented fermentations, while addition of glucose syrup to increase the gravity in the wort resulted in increased glucose repression that lead to inhibition of amino acid uptake and hereby inhibited the effect of the protease addition.