DNA Research Safeguards Beer Brands

Yeast’s ability to convert sugar into alcohol and carbon dioxide is critical to the beer-making process. So when Saskatoon’s Great Western Brewing Company (GWBC) set out to identify and protect the yeast strain that is essential to the production of its beer brands, it teamed up with Saskatchewan Polytechnic’s BioScience Applied Research Centre.

The centre assists businesses and industry to test new products, techniques, and technology and helps them to become market-ready faster. GWBC was able to tap into the centre’s expertise and resources through a CCI Applied Research and Development grant.

Under faculty supervision, BioScience Technology students collected DNA from GWBC’s yeast and compared it with catalogued yeast strains in an effort to develop a genetic profile of the firm’s yeast culture. Once the company’s strain is identified, GWBC plans to deep-freeze a sample of the yeast culture off-site to protect it and ensure the continuity of the company’s beer brands.

“Saskatchewan Polytechnic has the expertise, equipment, and technology to identify the yeast’s genotype,” says Anita Fuller, Manager of Corporate Quality Assurance for GWBC. “This baseline information is critical to recovering the yeast if it were damaged or contaminated in a crisis, such as a fire or flood.”

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Industry: Food

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Saskatchewan Polytechnic serves students through applied learning opportunities on Treaty 4 and Treaty 6 Territories and the homeland of the Métis people. Learning takes place... Learn more