Monday, August 15, 2011
Beer and iron…another thing to love about science.
As a science writer, it seems I’m always learning something new. Every day, interesting and provocative studies are being published. Look into any scientific journal and you’ll find something that makes you go, “Huh,” and even some stuff that makes you go, “Wow.” There’s a lot out there in the science word to pique the minds of the intellectually curious. And not so intellectually curious.
Today was a good day. I was greeted with the following press release headline: “Dark beer has more iron than pale beer.”
Though my friends and I have debated the most excellent properties of our favorite beers over our bar stools, I’m not sure that iron content ever came up. (Wait, yes, it did–being pregnant in Ireland means that the locals are going to insist you have a wee glass so the babe can get some extra iron). But in case you have been curious about iron (or are Irish), scientists at the University of Valladolid in Spain can now tell you, with certainty, that dark beer has more free iron than your average pale ale or non-alcoholic brew.
This group of scientists analyzed over 40 types of beer from 5 continents–it is easy to see that they were quite dedicated to their work–and found that the darker libations had 121 parts ber billion of iron as compared to 92 parts per billion in pale beers and around 60 parts per billion in the non-alcoholic brews. The study was published in the Journal of the Science of Food and Agriculture.
Why is this important beyond something fun to read? Not only is iron important to the human diet–but iron content can tell scientists more about the brewing process and how certain flavors and textures are created. Not to mention its stability–which, as anyone who has opened a skunked beer on a hot day can tell you, is a critical finding.
So, tonight, as you open your beer, make sure to raise a toast to the scientists. Where would we be without them?
Original story can found at http://blog.chron.com/heartsandminds/2011/08/beer-and-iron-another-thing-to-love-about-science/