Editor's Choice Articles

Editor’s Choice articles are based on recommendations by the scientific editors of MDPI journals from around the world. Editors select a small number of articles recently published in the journal that they believe will be particularly interesting to authors, or important in this field. The aim is to provide a snapshot of some of the most exciting work published in the various research areas of the journal.

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Article

Communication
Brewery Packaging in a Post-COVID Economy within the United States
Beverages 2021, 7(1), 14; https://0-doi-org.brum.beds.ac.uk/10.3390/beverages7010014 - 04 Mar 2021
Cited by 3
Abstract
The 2020 pandemic caused by the novel coronavirus, SARS-CoV-2, also referred to as the COVID-19 [named for the disease caused by the virus] pandemic, shook the world to its core. Not only were populations hurt by the virus physically, the pandemic had deep [...] Read more.
The 2020 pandemic caused by the novel coronavirus, SARS-CoV-2, also referred to as the COVID-19 [named for the disease caused by the virus] pandemic, shook the world to its core. Not only were populations hurt by the virus physically, the pandemic had deep repercussions economically as well. One of the industries severely impacted by the implications of the 2020 COVID-19 pandemic was the brewing industry, particularly that of the United States. The economic turmoil and uncertainty were felt by both macro and micro brewers alike. Draft beer sales virtually dried up overnight as state-imposed shutdowns closed bars, restaurants, and taprooms as a means to curb the spread of the virus. There were supply chain and logistical issues that arose during the pandemic due to not only closures within the brewing industry but supporting industries such as printers and shippers. In some cases, entire business models had to be turned completely on their head in an instant and business pivots had to be made. The year 2020 was wrought with challenges faced by the brewing industry. There was one saving grace however that kept many breweries afloat during the pandemic, and that was packaged beverage sales, especially those packages intended for off-site consumption. Set forth by trends of the pre-pandemic years aluminum cans and canning reigned supreme for the craft brewing market and allowed breweries to get product into the hands of consumers and ultimately allowed some breweries to stay open. Other options breweries had included the use of glass growlers or aluminum crowlers as a means to sell draft products to-go. The resourcefulness of many brewery owners was tested in 2020 and many rose to the challenge. This report aims to examine several of the challenges, pivots, and solutions packaging provided to the beer industry during the pandemic. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Beer Quality and Flavour)
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Article
Brewing with Unmalted Cereal Adjuncts: Sensory and Analytical Impacts on Beer Quality
Beverages 2021, 7(1), 4; https://0-doi-org.brum.beds.ac.uk/10.3390/beverages7010004 - 15 Jan 2021
Cited by 11
Abstract
Brewing with unmalted cereal adjuncts can reduce the requirement for malting, thereby lowering costs and improving the overall sustainability of the brewing chain. However, substantial adjunct usage has technological challenges and the sensory characteristics of beers produced using high adjunct rates are still [...] Read more.
Brewing with unmalted cereal adjuncts can reduce the requirement for malting, thereby lowering costs and improving the overall sustainability of the brewing chain. However, substantial adjunct usage has technological challenges and the sensory characteristics of beers produced using high adjunct rates are still not fully understood. This study examined the impacts of brewing with unmalted barley, wheat, rice and maize at relatively high concentrations (0, 30% and 60% of grist) on the sensorial and analytical profiles of lager beer. Adjunct based beers and a 100% malt control were brewed at 25 L scale. A trained sensory panel (n = 8) developed a lexicon and determined the sensorial profile of beers. At 30% adjunct incorporation there was insignificant variation in the expected beer flavour profile. At 60% adjunct incorporation, there were some significant sensory differences between beers which were specific to particular adjunct materials. Furthermore, 60% adjunct inclusion (with correspondingly low wort FAN) impacted the fermentation volatile profile of the final beers which corresponded with findings observed in the sensory analysis. Developing an understanding of adjunct-induced flavour differences and determining strategies to minimise these differences will facilitate the implementation of cost-efficient and sustainable grist solutions. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Beer Quality and Flavour)
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Review

Review
Kefir as a Functional Beverage Gaining Momentum towards Its Health Promoting Attributes
Beverages 2021, 7(3), 48; https://0-doi-org.brum.beds.ac.uk/10.3390/beverages7030048 - 06 Jul 2021
Cited by 14
Abstract
The consumption of fermented foods posing health-promoting attributes is a rising global trend. In this manner, fermented dairy products represent a significant subcategory of functional foods with established positive health benefits. Likewise, kefir—a fermented milk product manufactured from kefir grains—has been reported by [...] Read more.
The consumption of fermented foods posing health-promoting attributes is a rising global trend. In this manner, fermented dairy products represent a significant subcategory of functional foods with established positive health benefits. Likewise, kefir—a fermented milk product manufactured from kefir grains—has been reported by many studies to be a probiotic drink with great potential in health promotion. Existing research data link regular kefir consumption with a wide range of health-promoting attributes, and more recent findings support the link between kefir’s probiotic strains and its bio-functional metabolites in the enhancement of the immune system, providing significant antiviral effects. Although it has been consumed for thousands of years, kefir has recently gained popularity in relation to novel biotechnological applications, with different fermentation substrates being tested as non-dairy functional beverages. The present review focuses on the microbiological composition of kefir and highlights novel applications associated with its fermentation capacity. Future prospects relating to kefir’s capacity for disease prevention are also addressed and discussed. Full article
(This article belongs to the Section Beverage Technology Fermentation and Microbiology)
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Review
An Overview on Sustainability in the Wine Production Chain
Beverages 2021, 7(1), 15; https://0-doi-org.brum.beds.ac.uk/10.3390/beverages7010015 - 17 Mar 2021
Cited by 6
Abstract
Despite the great relevance of sustainable development, the absence of a shared approach to sustainable vitiviniculture is evident. This review aimed to investigate sustainability along the entire wine chain, from primary production to the finished wine, with specific attention to three key dimensions [...] Read more.
Despite the great relevance of sustainable development, the absence of a shared approach to sustainable vitiviniculture is evident. This review aimed to investigate sustainability along the entire wine chain, from primary production to the finished wine, with specific attention to three key dimensions of sustainability (environmental, social, and economic) and relating measures. Therefore, it was decided to: investigate the ways in which sustainability is applied in the various stages of the production chain (wine growing, wineries, distribution chain, and waste management); analyse the regulations in force throughout the world and the main labelling systems; provide numerical information on sustainable grapes and wines; study the objective quality of sustainable wines and that perceived by consumers, considering that it affects their willingness to pay. The research highlighted that rules and regulations on organic production of grapes and wines are flanked by several certification schemes and labelling systems. Although sustainable wines represent a niche in the market, in recent years, there has been an increase in vineyards conducted with sustainable (mainly organic and biodynamic) methods, and a consequent increase in the production of sustainable wines both in traditional and emerging producing countries. Although (or perhaps precisely for this reason) no significant differences in quality are found among sustainable and conventional wines, consumers are willing to pay a premium for sustainably produced wines. This finding should encourage wineries to both put in place environmental activities and intensify their communication. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Current Reviews in Beverages - 2021)
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Review
Healthy Drinks with Lovely Colors: Phenolic Compounds as Constituents of Functional Beverages
Beverages 2021, 7(1), 12; https://0-doi-org.brum.beds.ac.uk/10.3390/beverages7010012 - 23 Feb 2021
Cited by 8
Abstract
Consumers increasingly prefer and seek food and beverages, which, due to their natural characteristics, bring health benefits, both in the prevention of diseases and in their curative power. In this way, the production of nutraceutical foods and beverages gains more and more importance [...] Read more.
Consumers increasingly prefer and seek food and beverages, which, due to their natural characteristics, bring health benefits, both in the prevention of diseases and in their curative power. In this way, the production of nutraceutical foods and beverages gains more and more importance in the market. On the other hand, and because the eyes also eat, producing attractive foods due to their color, texture, appearance, and sensory characteristics is a permanent challenge in the food industry. Being able to gather healthy and attractive items in a single food is an even greater challenge. The long list of benefits associated with phenolic compounds, such as antioxidant, anticancer, anti-inflammatory, and antiaging properties, among others, fully justifies their use in the enrichment of various food products. Thus, in this review, we propose to summarize the potential use of phenolic compounds used as ingredients of pleasant and functional beverages. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Phenolic Compounds and Functional Beverages)
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Review
Review of the Effects of Grapevine Smoke Exposure and Technologies to Assess Smoke Contamination and Taint in Grapes and Wine
Beverages 2021, 7(1), 7; https://0-doi-org.brum.beds.ac.uk/10.3390/beverages7010007 - 25 Jan 2021
Cited by 7
Abstract
Grapevine smoke exposure and the subsequent development of smoke taint in wine has resulted in significant financial losses for grape growers and winemakers throughout the world. Smoke taint is characterized by objectional smoky aromas such as “ashy”, “burning rubber”, and “smoked meats”, resulting [...] Read more.
Grapevine smoke exposure and the subsequent development of smoke taint in wine has resulted in significant financial losses for grape growers and winemakers throughout the world. Smoke taint is characterized by objectional smoky aromas such as “ashy”, “burning rubber”, and “smoked meats”, resulting in wine that is unpalatable and hence unprofitable. Unfortunately, current climate change models predict a broadening of the window in which bushfires may occur and a rise in bushfire occurrences and severity in major wine growing regions such as Australia, Mediterranean Europe, North and South America, and South Africa. As such, grapevine smoke exposure and smoke taint in wine are increasing problems for growers and winemakers worldwide. Current recommendations for growers concerned that their grapevines have been exposed to smoke are to conduct pre-harvest mini-ferments for sensory assessment and send samples to a commercial laboratory to quantify levels of smoke-derived volatiles in the wine. Significant novel research is being conducted using spectroscopic techniques coupled with machine learning modeling to assess grapevine smoke contamination and taint in grapes and wine, offering growers and winemakers additional tools to monitor grapevine smoke exposure and taint rapidly and non-destructively in grapes and wine. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Current Reviews in Beverages - 2021)
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Review
Coffee Flavor: A Review
Beverages 2020, 6(3), 44; https://0-doi-org.brum.beds.ac.uk/10.3390/beverages6030044 - 08 Jul 2020
Cited by 30
Abstract
Flavor continues to be a driving force for coffee’s continued growth in the beverage market today. Studies have identified the sensory aspects and volatile and non-volatile compounds that characterize the flavor of different coffees. This review discusses aspects that influence coffee drinking and [...] Read more.
Flavor continues to be a driving force for coffee’s continued growth in the beverage market today. Studies have identified the sensory aspects and volatile and non-volatile compounds that characterize the flavor of different coffees. This review discusses aspects that influence coffee drinking and aspects such as environment, processing, and preparation that influence flavor. This summary of research studies employed sensory analysis (either descriptive and discrimination testing and or consumer testing) and chemical analysis to determine the impact aspects on coffee flavor. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Current Reviews in Beverages - 2021)
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Review
White Wine Protein Instability: Mechanism, Quality Control and Technological Alternatives for Wine Stabilisation—An Overview
Beverages 2020, 6(1), 19; https://0-doi-org.brum.beds.ac.uk/10.3390/beverages6010019 - 17 Mar 2020
Cited by 17
Abstract
Wine protein instability depends on several factors, but wine grape proteins are the main haze factors, being mainly caused by pathogenesis-related proteins (thaumatin-like proteins and chitinases) with a molecular weight between 10~40 kDa and an isoelectric point below six. Wine protein stability tests [...] Read more.
Wine protein instability depends on several factors, but wine grape proteins are the main haze factors, being mainly caused by pathogenesis-related proteins (thaumatin-like proteins and chitinases) with a molecular weight between 10~40 kDa and an isoelectric point below six. Wine protein stability tests are needed for the routine control of this wine instability, and to select the best technological approach to remove the unstable proteins. The heat test is the most used, with good correlation with the natural proteins’ precipitations and because high temperatures are the main protein instability factor after wine bottling. Many products and technological solutions have been studied in recent years; however, sodium bentonite is still the most efficient and used treatment to remove unstable proteins from white wines. This overview resumes and discusses the different aspects involved in wine protein instability, from the wine protein instability mechanisms, the protein stability tests used, and technological alternatives available to stabilise wines with protein instability problems. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Wide World of Beverage Research: Reviews of Current Topics)
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Review
Membrane-Based Operations in the Fruit Juice Processing Industry: A Review
Beverages 2020, 6(1), 18; https://0-doi-org.brum.beds.ac.uk/10.3390/beverages6010018 - 16 Mar 2020
Cited by 23
Abstract
The fruit juice industry is one of the food sectors that has invested the most in the implementation of new technologies, such as non-thermal technologies. Among them, membrane processes are considered today well-established separation techniques to support the production and marketing of innovative [...] Read more.
The fruit juice industry is one of the food sectors that has invested the most in the implementation of new technologies, such as non-thermal technologies. Among them, membrane processes are considered today well-established separation techniques to support the production and marketing of innovative fruit juices designed to exploit the sensory characteristics and nutritional peculiarities of fresh fruits. Pressure-driven membrane operations, membrane distillation, osmotic distillation and pervaporation have been widely investigated in the last few decades to replace conventional technologies used in fruit juice processing industry (i.e., clarification, stabilization, concentration and recovery of aroma compounds). This paper will review the significant progresses on the use of membrane-based operations in fruit juice processing industry in the light of the growing interest towards products with improved safety, quality and nutritional value and sustainable processes characterized by low energy consumption and low environmental impact. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Wide World of Beverage Research: Reviews of Current Topics)
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Review
Current Trends in Kombucha: Marketing Perspectives and the Need for Improved Sensory Research
Beverages 2020, 6(1), 15; https://0-doi-org.brum.beds.ac.uk/10.3390/beverages6010015 - 02 Mar 2020
Cited by 43
Abstract
Kombucha is a fermented functional beverage that started as a homemade beverage and grew into a commercial product in the U.S. by the turn of this century. The number of companies producing kombucha, as well as the variety of kombucha products, is increasing [...] Read more.
Kombucha is a fermented functional beverage that started as a homemade beverage and grew into a commercial product in the U.S. by the turn of this century. The number of companies producing kombucha, as well as the variety of kombucha products, is increasing rapidly. The scientific research on kombucha also got active along with the growth in the market. The topics of kombucha research can be grouped into the substrate used in fermentation, the microbial composition of the cultures, processing methods, chemical composition, the health benefits and health risks associated with consumption, the utilization of symbiotic cultures of bacteria and yeasts (SCOBYs), etc. There are several already published in-depth scientific reviews covering these topics. Even with the sensory characteristics of kombucha being a critical aspect of the beverage, there are not many publications covering the sensory and consumer research on this beverage. This review paper aims to provide the current market status of kombucha and to show a need for scientific sensory and consumer research studies to help the kombucha researchers and industry working on this fast-growing beverage. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Wide World of Beverage Research: Reviews of Current Topics)
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Review
Lactic Fermented Fruit or Vegetable Juices: Past, Present and Future
Beverages 2020, 6(1), 8; https://0-doi-org.brum.beds.ac.uk/10.3390/beverages6010008 - 11 Feb 2020
Cited by 25
Abstract
Numerous traditional low-alcohol fermented beverages produced from fruit or vegetables are described around the world. Fruit and vegetables and lactic fermented products both present nutritional benefits, which give reasons for the recent expansion of non-dairy lactic fermented juices on the market. In addition, [...] Read more.
Numerous traditional low-alcohol fermented beverages produced from fruit or vegetables are described around the world. Fruit and vegetables and lactic fermented products both present nutritional benefits, which give reasons for the recent expansion of non-dairy lactic fermented juices on the market. In addition, fruit and vegetable juices are new carriers for probiotic bacteria. Specific phenotypic traits of lactic acid bacteria (LAB) are required so that LAB can effectively grow in fruit or vegetable juices, increase their safety and improve their sensory and nutritional quality. From the diversity of microbiota of spontaneous fermentations, autochthonous starters can be selected, and their higher performance than allochthonous LAB was demonstrated. Achieving long-term storage and constant high quality of these beverages requires additional processing steps, such as heat treatment. Alternatives to conventional treatments are investigated as they can better preserve nutritional properties, extract bioactive compounds and promote the growth and metabolism of LAB. Specific processing approaches were shown to increase probiotic viability of fruit and vegetable juices. More knowledge on the metabolic activity of lactic acid bacterium consortium in fruit or vegetable juices has become a bottleneck for the understanding and the prediction of changes in bioactive compounds for functional beverages development. Hopefully, the recent developments of metabolomics and methods to describe enzymatic machinery can result in the reconstruction of fermentative pathways. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Wide World of Beverage Research: Reviews of Current Topics)
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Review
Designing New Yeasts for Craft Brewing: When Natural Biodiversity Meets Biotechnology
Beverages 2020, 6(1), 3; https://0-doi-org.brum.beds.ac.uk/10.3390/beverages6010003 - 09 Jan 2020
Cited by 17
Abstract
Beer is a fermented beverage with a history as old as human civilization. Ales and lagers are by far the most common beers; however, diversification is becoming increasingly important in the brewing market and the brewers are continuously interested in improving and extending [...] Read more.
Beer is a fermented beverage with a history as old as human civilization. Ales and lagers are by far the most common beers; however, diversification is becoming increasingly important in the brewing market and the brewers are continuously interested in improving and extending the range of products, especially in the craft brewery sector. Fermentation is one of the widest spaces for innovation in the brewing process. Besides Saccharomyces cerevisiae ale and Saccharomyces pastorianus lager strains conventionally used in macro-breweries, there is an increasing demand for novel yeast starter cultures tailored for producing beer styles with diversified aroma profiles. Recently, four genetic engineering-free approaches expanded the genetic background and the phenotypic biodiversity of brewing yeasts and allowed novel costumed-designed starter cultures to be developed: (1) the research for new performant S. cerevisiae yeasts from fermented foods alternative to beer; (2) the creation of synthetic hybrids between S. cerevisiae and Saccharomyces non-cerevisiae in order to mimic lager yeasts; (3) the exploitation of evolutionary engineering approaches; (4) the usage of non-Saccharomyces yeasts. Here, we summarized the pro and contra of these approaches and provided an overview on the most recent advances on how brewing yeast genome evolved and domestication took place. The resulting correlation maps between genotypes and relevant brewing phenotypes can assist and further improve the search for novel craft beer starter yeasts, enhancing the portfolio of diversified products offered to the final customer. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Wide World of Beverage Research: Reviews of Current Topics)
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Other

Perspective
Ready to Use Therapeutical Beverages: Focus on Functional Beverages Containing Probiotics, Prebiotics and Synbiotics
Beverages 2020, 6(2), 26; https://0-doi-org.brum.beds.ac.uk/10.3390/beverages6020026 - 20 Apr 2020
Cited by 26
Abstract
The growing global interest in functional foods containing nutrients capable of adding possible beneficial health effects is rapidly increasing both interest and consumer demand. In particular, functionalized beverages for their potential positive effect on health e.g., decreasing cholesterol level, lowering sugar, high fiber [...] Read more.
The growing global interest in functional foods containing nutrients capable of adding possible beneficial health effects is rapidly increasing both interest and consumer demand. In particular, functionalized beverages for their potential positive effect on health e.g., decreasing cholesterol level, lowering sugar, high fiber content, ability to enhance the immune system, and help digestion, have recently received special attention. Among the different beverages available on the market, probiotic dairy and non-dairy products have attracted much attention because of their affordable cost and their numerous therapeutic activities. Fermented milk and yogurt are currently worth €46 billion, with 77% of the market reported in Europe, North America, and Asia. Consumption of dairy beverages has some limitations due for example to lactose intolerance and allergy to milk proteins, thereby leading consumers to use non-dairy beverages such as fruit, grains, and vegetable juices to add probiotics to diet as well as driving the manufacturers to food matrices-based beverages containing probiotic cultures. The purpose of this review article is to evaluate the therapeutic performance and properties of dairy and non-dairy beverages in terms of probiotic, prebiotic, and synbiotic activities. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Wide World of Beverage Research: Reviews of Current Topics)
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