Boris Gadzov (1), Heidi Grimmer (2); (1) FlavorActiV Ltd, Chinnor, U.K.; (2) FlavorActiV Ltd., Durban, South Africa


Understanding consumer preferences and achieving better drinkability, freshness, longer shelf life and batch-to-batch consistency are essential requirements for all producers. Beer flavor is not static; it is in a constant state of change requiring sensory analysis at each stage. Therefore, aligning pre- with post-production best sensory and analytical practices will ensure high quality and stability across the market. This study describes the sensory and analytical investigation of 12 different brands, represented with 9 different batches analyzed at critical control points in the production and subsequently monitored after bottling in a period of 6 months. In total 1,944 samples have been tasted by a professional, expert panel. The analytical investigation was focused on a method that measures the radicals produced during oxidation. The results will highlight the range and intensity of beer aging off-flavors in each brand. The findings will then be used to advise the producer about prevention steps needed in earlier stages of production and maximize freshness, drinkability and product stability on the market. Additionally, comparing tasting results with analytical data for selected off-flavors will bring about best practice sensory panel training criteria and methods for tasting and profiling of samples. Tasters have been trained and validated on 150 GMP Flavor Standards, which are used globally by professional sensory panels within the beverage industry. The panel also compared analytical data available with some of the non-conformances detected in this study. The project aims are to show real-world, practical examples of how sensory and analytical practices can be used together to monitor beer flavor stability and improve beer aging in early stages of production and, in the end, prevent faults and recalls on the market.

Boris has been FlavorActiV director of global sensory management since 2009. Boris began as a global sensory manger, professional trainer and adviser in brand equity, product quality, insight/innovation and taster management. Boris has visited over 200 breweries worldwide; his significant language skills have helped develop business overseas and provide global beverage and multi-language support to FlavorActiV’s customers. Before Boris joined FlavorActiV he gained a Ph.D. degree in food molecular microbiology from the University of Vienna.