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Vibrational Spectroscopy and Chemometrics for Rapid, Quantitative Analysis of Bitter Acids in Hops (Humulus lupulus)

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journal contribution
posted on 31.12.2014, 00:00 by Daniel P. Killeen, David H. Andersen, Ron A. Beatson, Keith C. Gordon, Nigel B. Perry
Hops, Humulus lupulus, are grown worldwide for use in the brewing industry to impart characteristic flavor and aroma to finished beer. Breeders produce many varietal crosses with the aim of improving and diversifying commercial hops varieties. The large number of crosses critical to a successful breeding program imposes high demands on the supporting chemical analytical laboratories. With the aim of reducing the analysis time associated with hops breeding, quantitative partial least-squares regression (PLS-R) models have been produced, relating reference data acquired by the industrial standard HPLC and UV methods, to vibrational spectra of the same, chemically diverse hops sample set. These models, produced from rapidly acquired infrared (IR), near-infrared (NIR), and Raman spectra, were appraised using standard statistical metrics. Results demonstrated that all three spectroscopic methods could be used for screening hops for α-acid, total bitter acids, and cohumulone concentrations in powdered hops. Models generated from Raman and IR spectra also showed potential for use in screening hops varieties for xanthohumol concentrations. NIR analysis was performed using both a standard benchtop spectrometer and a portable NIR spectrometer, with comparable results obtained by both instruments. Finally, some important vibrational features of cohumulone, colupulone, and xanthohumol were assigned using DFT calculations, which allow more insightful interpretation of PLS-R latent variable plots.

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