The Italian research team, Censi et al, set out to determine the phenol level and antioxidant activity of the by-product of multiple types of craft beer and evaluated the impacts of beer-waste extracts on human keratinocytes to demonstrate what uses they could have in cosmetics.
As craft beers have risen in popularity in the US and Europe, the research team said the unpasteurized and non-filtered nature of the product presents a unique opportunity to derive personal care ingredients.
“Thus, the evaluation of antioxidants in the waste products from beer production may be of great importance if one considers the rapid growth of the craft beer market worldwide,” the paper said. “The exploitation of brewery by-products to develop health products such as cosmetics and/or supplements would help increase the sustainability of beer production.”
Previous research studies phenol and antioxidant activity in beer
The research team said previous researchers have measured both the level of phenol compounds and antioxidant activities in commercial beers and found two phenolic compounds, gallic and ferulic acid, were common, determined the antioxidant activity of different types and brands of beer, and evaluated those metrics at different steps of brewing.
Craft beers are non-filtered and unpasteurized combinations of water, malt, hops and yeast, with no brewing additives, and generally avoid citric acid, which can reduce product oxidation, or other additives like aroma, sugars, flavors and juices in the production process.
The beer used by the research team was a simple water, malt, hop and yeast brew.