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Feed the world, help the environment and make great beer: beans can really do it all

The new batch of faba bean ale was brewed by Barney's Beer in Edinburgh
"The new brew uses unprocessed whole grains, and will be showcased at several events to mark the International Year of Pulses.

Imagine a crop that you can use to help secure sufficient food for a growing global population, benefit the environment and brew fantastic beer. There is one – several in fact: pulses. The James Hutton Institute has joined forces with Barney’s Beer in Edinburgh and Abertay University in Dundee - through joint PhD student Kirsty Black - to brew a new batch of faba bean ale that follows on the success of “Fe Fi Fo”, last year’s Edinburgh Science Festival official ale.

Dr Pete Iannetta, a molecular ecologist at the James Hutton Institute's Ecological Sciences group and leader of the Beans4Feed research project, said: “Pulses such as faba beans are high starch as well as protein, essential minerals like iron, zinc and magnesium, are gluten-free. Their consumption helps promote low glycemic index, offsetting diabetes, and can safeguard good cardiovascular function.

“They foster sustainable food production, as they require no nitrogen-based fertiliser. Pulses can access (or ‘fix’) atmospheric nitrogen into biologically useful forms, an ability they derive from a unique symbiosis with a certain type of soil bacteria found in their roots.

“Some of the fascinating possibilities offered by pulses are the subject of close study by scientists at the James Hutton Institute, from their use in health foods for humans and animals to novel uses.”

The new brew uses unprocessed whole grains, and will be showcased at several events to mark the International Year of Pulses. Commercial partner Limagrain have adopted the new batch as their “Tundra IPA” ale because it is brewed using the winter bean variety of the same name.

What is more, while the faba bean starch is converted to alcohol, the bean protein passes through the brewing process. In this way, the nutritional value of brewing byproduct (spent grains), as a feed for animals is also improved.

2016 was designated as International Year of Pulses by the United Nations Food and Agriculture Organisation (FAO), with the very specific aim of positioning pulses as a primary source of protein, starch and other essential nutrients. For more information, visit the International Year of Pulses website.

More information from: 

Bernardo Rodriguez-Salcedo, Media Manager, Tel: +44 (0)1224 395089 (direct line), +44 (0)344 928 5428 (switchboard) or +44 (0)7791 193918 (mobile).

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Printed from /news/feed-world-help-environment-and-make-great-beer-beans-can-really-do-it-all on 12/12/18 11:03:51 PM

The James Hutton Research Institute is the result of the merger in April 2011 of MLURI and SCRI. This merger formed a new powerhouse for research into food, land use, and climate change.