Processes for beer clarification lower the content of gluten proteins and peptides and allow industrial production of gluten-free (barley) malt beers

Anneleen Decloedt
Ghent University

Keywords: beer clarification, gluten-free, all-malt beer

The gluten-free market is growing rapidly due to the rise in consumers suffering from a gluten sensitivity or allergy, but also by the assumption that a gluten-free diet is part of a healthy lifestyle. Therefore, commercially, it is very beneficial for brewers to be able to produce gluten-free barley malt beers on a day-to-day basis. Beers of breweries that use different technologies and process aids for beer clarification (e.g. filtration type, filter aids, prolylendopeptidase) were monitored with the Ridascreen ELISA Gliadin sandwich kit (R7001) and competitive kit (R7021), respectively quantifying gluten proteins and peptides. 92% of the Belgian beers tested (n=153) had a gluten content of less than 20 ppm. However, removing gluten peptides turned out to be more challenging, but could still be achieved for 33% of the beers.