Flavor-active esters: Adding fruitiness to beer

Kevin J. Verstrepen*, Guy Derdelinckx, Jean Pierre Dufour, Joris Winderickx, Johan M. Thevelein, Isak S. Pretorius, Freddy R. Delvaux

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalReview articlepeer-review

323 Citations (Scopus)


As they are responsible for the fruity character of fermented beverages, volatile esters constitute an important group of aromatic compounds in beer. In modern high-gravity fermentations, which are performed in tall cylindroconical vessels, the beer ester balance is often sub-optimal, resulting in a clear decrease in beer quality. Despite the intensive research aimed at unravelling the precise mechanism and regulation of ester synthesis, our current knowledge remains far from complete. However, a number of factors that influence flavor-active ester production have already been described, including wort composition, wort aeration and fermentor design. A thoughtful adaptation of these parameters allows brewers to steer ester concentrations and thus to control the fruity character of their beers. This paper reviews the current knowledge of the biochemistry behind yeast ester synthesis and discusses the different factors that allow ester formation to be controlled during brewery fermentation.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)110-118
Number of pages9
JournalJournal of Bioscience and Bioengineering
Issue number2
Publication statusPublished - 2003
Externally publishedYes


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