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Student creates ‘probiotic’ beer

Researchers at the National University of Singapore have created a sour beer that is good for your gut.

The sour beer contains a probiotic strain that, the scientists say, can neutralise toxins and viruses and regulate the immune system.

As reported in local paper The Straits Times, the idea for the beer came from 22-year-old science student Alcine Chan, who is in her fourth and final year at the university.

Chan explained that she drinks probiotic drinks regularly but had noticed many use dairy products which are not suitable for people who are lactose intolerant.

On the other hand, many fermented foods and drinks contain a lot of ‘good bacteria’ although there are currently no probiotic beers in the market.

Part of the reason for that, as she explained, is that: “Developing sufficient counts of live probiotics in beer is a challenging feat as beers contain hop acids that prevent the growth and survival of probiotics.”

She therefore decided to take on the challenge for her final-year project, with the help of associate professor Liu Shao Quan from the NUS’s Food Science and Technology Programme.

It took her nine months to perfect the beer and having experimented with five probiotic strains, finally found success with the Lactobacillus paracasei strain.

The beer takes a month to brew and is 3.5% abv but each 100ml serving apparently contains one billion probiotics.

Chan and Liu have filed a patent for the beer and a Japanese company is said to have “expressed interest” in it.

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