Prediction of potential malt extract and beer filterability using conventional and novel malt assays.
Cornaggia, C., Evans, D. E., Draga, A., Mangan, D. & McCleary, B. V. (2019). Journal of Institute of Brewing, In Press.
Colourimetric assays were used to measure the activities of six key hydrolases endogenous to barley: β‐glucanase, xylanase, cellulase, α-amylase, beta‐amylase and limit dextrinase. The analysed barley malt samples were previously characterised by 27 conventional malt quality descriptors. Correlations between enzymatic activities and brewing parameters such as extract yield, fermentability, viscosity and filterability were investigated. A single extraction protocol for all six hydrolases was optimised and used for multi‐enzyme analysis using fully automatable assay formats. A regression analysis between malt parameters was undertaken to produce a relationship matrix linking enzyme activities and conventional malt quality descriptors. This regression analysis was used to inform a multi‐linear regression approach to create predictive models for extract yield, apparent attenuation limit, viscosity and filterability using the Small‐scale Wort rapId Filtration Test (SWIFT) and two different mashing protocols – Congress and a modified infusion mash at 65°C (MIM 65°C). It was observed that malt enzyme activities displayed significant correlations with the analysed brewing parameters. Both starch hydrolases and cell wall hydrolase activities together with modification parameters (i.e. Kolbach index) were found to be highly correlated with extract yield and apparent attenuation limit. Interestingly, it was observed that xylanase activity in malts was an important predictor for wort viscosity and filterability. It is envisaged that the automatable measurement of enzyme activity could find use in plant breeding progeny selection and for routine assessment of the functional brewing performance of malt batches. This analytical approach would also contribute to brewing process consistency, product quality and reduced processing times.
Development of an automatable method for the measurement of endo-1,4-β-xylanase activity in barley malt and initial investigation into the relationship between endo-1,4-β-xylanase activity and wort viscosity.
Mangan, D., Cornaggia, C., Liadova, A., Draga, A., Ivory, R., Evans, D. E. & McCleary, B. V. (2018). Journal of Cereal Science, 84, 90-94.
Stages of the brewing process, such as mash separation to produce wort and beer filtration, can in certain cases prove problematic due to the increased viscosity caused by high levels of the non-starch polysaccharides, primarily β-glucan and arabinoxylan. Of these two polysaccharides, β-glucan has been extensively studied, but arabinoxylan has been somewhat overlooked. The concentration of arabinoxylan present during these process stages is principally expected to be inversely related to the malt endo-1,4-β-xylansase activity that is available to degrade these polysaccharides. The development of a novel method for the measurement of endo-1,4-β-xylansase activity in barley malt extracts is described herein. The method was characterised by two analysts in terms of repeatability (single analyst CVs=2.2% and 2.3%, n=8; interanalyst CV=4.8%, n=16) and sensitivity (LOD=10 U/kg, LOQ=34 U/kg). The assay procedure was then applied to the measurement of xylanase activity in a series of eight standard barley malts and the results obtained were compared with their associated Congress wort viscosities as measured using the conventional EBC Method 4.8, wort viscosity. A highly statistically significant relationship between xylanase activity and wort viscosity was found with a Pearson's correlation coefficient of -0.82 (p-value of 0.007).
Novel substrates for the automated and manual assay of endo-1,4-β-xylanase.
Mangan, D., Cornaggia, C., Liadova, A., McCormack, N., Ivory, R., McKie, V. A., Ormerod, A. & McCleary, D. V. (2017). Carbohydrate Research, 445, 14-22.
endo-1,4-β-Xylanase (EC 18.104.22.168) is employed across a broad range of industries including animal feed, brewing, baking, biofuels, detergents and pulp (paper). Despite its importance, a rapid, reliable, reproducible, automatable assay for this enzyme that is based on the use of a chemically defined substrate has not been described to date. Reported herein is a new enzyme coupled assay procedure, termed the XylX6 assay, that employs a novel substrate, namely 4,6-O-(3-ketobutylidene)-4-nitrophenyl-β-45-O-glucosyl-xylopentaoside. The development of the substrate and associated assay is discussed here and the relationship between the activity values obtained with the XylX6 assay versus traditional reducing sugar assays and its specificity and reproducibility were thoroughly investigated.
A Comparison of Polysaccharide Substrates and Reducing Sugar Methods for the Measurement of endo-1,4-β-Xylanase
McCleary, B. V. & McGeough, P. (2015). Appl. Biochem. Biotechnol., 177(5), 1152-1163.
The most commonly used method for the measurement of the level of endo-xylanase in commercial enzyme preparations is the 3,5-dinitrosalicylic acid (DNS) reducing sugar method with birchwood xylan as substrate. It is well known that with the DNS method, much higher enzyme activity values are obtained than with the Nelson-Somogyi (NS) reducing sugar method. In this paper, we have compared the DNS and NS reducing sugar assays using a range of xylan-type substrates and accurately compared the molar response factors for xylose and a range of xylo-oligosaccharides. Purified beechwood xylan or wheat arabinoxylan is shown to be a suitable replacement for birchwood xylan which is no longer commercially available, and it is clearly demonstrated that the DNS method grossly overestimates endo-xylanase activity. Unlike the DNS assay, the NS assay gave the equivalent colour response with equimolar amounts of xylose, xylobiose, xylotriose and xylotetraose demonstrating that it accurately measures the quantity of glycosidic bonds cleaved by the endo-xylanase. The authors strongly recommend cessation of the use of the DNS assay for measurement of endo-xylanase due to the fact that the values obtained are grossly overestimated due to secondary reactions in colour development.