AI to Create “Beer Fingerprinting”

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We live in an era of digital fingerprints, genetic fingerprints, and even video fingerprints. It’s only fitting that someone tackled the idea of fingerprinting beers as well. That someone is Carlesburg’s official Research Laboratory who just teamed up with some heavy hitters to to launch “The Beer Fingerprinting Project.”

Jochen Förster, Director and Professor Yeast Fermentation, Carlsberg Research Laboratory is leading a team that includes Aarhus University, The Technical University of Denmark and Microsoft. The multimillion dollar project aims to build a “sensor platform” that can sniff out the individual traits and flavors of different varieties of brew. Specifically, the team hopes to use artificial intelligence to distinguish and measure complex flavor mixtures quickly.

“No rapid assays exist today for the determination of flavour compounds in beverages but it is crucial that we can do this to ensure that the Laboratory continues to develop beer of the highest possible quality and provide a model for brewing in Denmark and the rest of the world,” explained Förster.

The Carlesberg Research Lab (Courtesy Carlesberg Group)

The scientist said that focus will be on developing sensors that can detect flavor. “This will enable us to select and develop novel brewer’s yeast for application in craft, specialty, core and alcohol-free beers at much higher speed and even better quality.” Beyond product development, quality control and safety would benefit immensely from the work.

Work is already well underway. “iNano Aarhus University have already developed a solution to use novel sensors and proof-of-principle to differentiate between four Carlsberg beers, Carlsberg Pilsner, Tuborg Pilsner, Wiibroe and Nordic, as part of the project” according to a press release from Carlesberg.

Microsoft will handle the tech ending including advanced use of artificial intelligence. “This research study puts advanced analytics and intelligent cloud technology as a corner stone of the project and combines expertise within several fields of research,” stated Ricky Gangsted-Rasmussen, Industry Lead—Retail, Microsoft Danmark. “We are excited to see the project unfold and determine how it will impact faster go to market processes for Carlsberg.”

The team seems to be in it for the long run. Financing for the project has already been secured from Innovation Fund Denmark.

If the project is successful, the uses will extend far beyond the world of beer. Although the immediate research will involve yeasts, malts, and hops, the ability to quickly identify and analyze flavor compounds will find uses everywhere from pharmaceutical labs to home kitchens.

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