Denmark: Carlsberg kicks off beer fingerprinting project

Danish Carlsberg Breweries, Microsoft and two universities have teamed up to develop more rapid methods to detect aromas and flavors in beer.  The “beer fingerprinting project” as it is called, uses sensors and artificial intelligence to speed up the “tedious process”, which relies on humans or chromatography and spectrometry.

Jochen Förster, director of yeast and fermentation at Carlsberg’s research laboratory, explains the advantage of the new system: “It’s about reducing time and cost to develop new beers, especially for innovative beers with new flavors.” He estimates that newly developed sensors can cut the 8 to 24 months needed to develop a new beer by one third.

Last year Carlsberg in collaboration with Aarhus University already was successful in developing sensors to detect the difference between four beer brands.

Microsoft’s role in the research project will be to develop the software, which is necessary to interpret the data and to display the results in a user-friendly format.

The three-year project that has started these days will be funded with DKr28m ($4m) by Carlsberg and with DKr18m ($2.8m) by Innovation Fund Denmark, a fund that was established as of 1 April 2014 by bringing together research, technology development and innovation grants from the Danish Council of Strategic Research, the Danish National Advanced Technology Foundation and the Danish Council for Technology and Innovation into one new powerful foundation.

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