An AP wire story out last week highlights the use of hops in ethanol production to combat bacteria.
DomesticFuel did a feature on BetaTec, the company referenced in the article, about two years ago after their debut at the 2007 Fuel Ethanol Workshop. They market a product called IsoStabTM , which is derived from natural acids found in hops and is a natural way to effectively control gram-positive bacteria in fermentation. It is an alternative to antibiotics, which are commonly used in ethanol production to kill bacteria, but can be problematic when the by-product of dried distillers grains (DDGs) are fed to livestock.
Any good beer drinker knows that hops are primarily used to make beer and the vast majority of hops grown world wide are used by breweries. The top hops producing country is Germany, followed by the United States. Hops are used extensively in brewing today mainly because they balance the sweetness of the malt with bitterness, contributing a variety of desirable flavors and aromas, but also because they have an antibiotic effect that favors the activity of brewer’s yeast over less desirable microorganisms.
The increased interest in a natural alternative to antibiotics has created a surge of business for BetaTec from ethanol plants. BetaTec Hop Products is a global company specializing in the application of hops and hop-derived compounds for industrial use. Their product portfolio ranges from natural compounds that function as antimicrobials, to flavor and functional ingredients for the food, feed, agricultural, nutraceutical and water treatment industries.