The world of fermented beverages is vast, with a growing variety of beverages, sometimes very different. If you consider only alcoholic beverages, there’s an amazing array of different drinks, ranging from beer to wine, to spirits.
These beverages are the result of many different factors: available ingredients, technologies, regional tastes, geopolitical relationships… For example, the increase in wine trade between England and Portugal, historical allies in the 17th century, led to brandy being added to the wine casks to increase the preservation of the wine during transit. And that is how Port was born!
Now if you add to all the alcoholic beverages the new trends for no and low-alcohol drinks, the complexity and variety reach new heights! With the growing consumption of low-alcohol alternatives (i.e. beer and spirits) or trending beverages such as Kombucha and Kefir, the current landscape is impressive.
At Fermentis, we have a holistic approach to R&D. Of course, there are experts in specific beverage segments, however, we feel there are a lot of benefits in having a global approach with cross-functional interactions between the team, even throughout different beverage segments.
To illustrate this, when we look for the best yeast strain for a new application, we can screen through all the yeasts we have at Lesaffre and more, regardless of their original application. When we started the process of identifying a yeast strain for our SafBrew ™ DW-17, ideal for dry, winy beers, thanks to the added enzyme, we did not limit our trials to beer yeast strains. We specifically included some wine strains that we suspected might work well to reach the type of beers we were looking for.
So despite beverage specificities, at Fermentis, our R&D approach is fermentation-focused. We believe there are things to learn from all types of fermented beverages, and that’s why we encourage cross-beverage research, and teamwork without too many barriers and limitations!