The Effectiveness of Alcohol to Reduce Bacterial Counts in Craft Beer
Bahr, Martina E.
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The most noted craft beer trends of 2015 and 2016 were sessionable and food product infused beers. This experiment aimed to examine these craft beer trends’ ability to lead to potential foodborne illness in beer by evaluating alcohol’s ability to reduce bacterial counts. In a two-part experiment, the ability for alcohol in a 3.2% ABV beer to kill spoilage bacteria on basil, then Salmonella was investigated. In the first part, aerobic plate counts of general bacterial growth on basil, beer, fresh basil beer, and two day aged basil beer were examined. Beer was able to reduce the bacterial growth found on basil. Two day aged basil beer had reduced growth when compared to fresh basil beer. In the second part, basil, sterile beer, unsterile beer, fresh basil beer, and two day aged basil beer were inoculated with 9.0 Log10 CFU of Salmonella Typhimurium 53647. Sterile and unsterile beer both significantly reduced Salmonella contamination. The results imply that aging beer reduces bacterial loads of food product infused beer and that beer is able to significantly reduce the growth of microbial contamination in 3.2% ABV beer, while foodborne illness in sessionable beer poses potential risk.