Vegan beer drinkers will be able to raise a brew soon to celebrate as Chinova Bioworks has just launched a major research initiative with the College Communautaire du Nouveau Brunswick’s (CCNB) INNOV centre, backed by the New Brunswick Innovation Foundation’s Innovation Voucher Fund to develop an exciting new processing aid for vegan-friendly brews.
Chinova is leveraging its clean-label ingredient expertise at CCNB’s Grand Falls campus, which has been developing technologies around brewing and distilling for years. The research project aims to develop a new application for Chinova’s proprietary white button mushroom fiber, Chiber, as a rapid fining agent for breweries. The initiative comes at a time when many breweries are working to switch to vegan practices to keep up with consumer demand for healthier and more sustainable products.
“People are searching for vegan and plant-based options for every aspect of their lifestyle, so we are committed to innovating and providing sustainable solutions based off our white button mushroom fiber technology,” said David Brown, COO and cofounder of Chinova Bioworks. “Alcoholic beverages, particularly beer, are plagued with the use of animal derived and synthetic ingredients, and we believe we can make a big impact here with Chiber.”
Many brewed beers, and other alcoholic, beverages include animal-based compounds that are added throughout the production process. For example, many include pepsin, a foaming agent obtained from stomach enzymes of pigs; chitin, derived from lobster and crab shells; as well as carmine, which is found in the crushed scales of cochineal insects. Another commonly used compound is isinglass, a kind of gelatin obtained from fish swim bladders. All of these are often used in the alcohol production and filtering process to make drinks appear clearer and brighter. Chinova’s technology would provide brewers a vegan alternative to animal-based, isinglass fining agents and synthetic PVPP (polyvinylpolypyrrolidone) that has long been used in the beverage industry as a processing aid.
Early results show Chiber works eight times faster at settling yeast post-fermentation, and as an extra bonus, can leave residual antimicrobial benefits to the beer, making it stay fresher for longer. Chinova is targeting to launch Chiber for alcoholic beverages in the first quarter of 2022 and is currently working with early adopters for market testing, while actively seeking more innovative companies to take part in the initiative.
Chiber is a cost effective and natural solution for the brewing industry. It is a pure fiber extracted from the stems of white button mushrooms and that does not contain any allergenic materials from the mushroom. Chiber is odorless and tasteless and does not alter the taste, color or consistency of the beverage. Chinova Bioworks is a food technology company headquartered in New Brunswick, Canada, with a five-year track record of developing natural, clean-label preservatives extracted from mushrooms for the food and beverage industry. Chiber is certified vegan, kosher, halal, organic compliant, non-GMO, declared allergen-free, paleo, keto-friendly, low FODMAP, gluten-free, Whole 30, has no sodium contribution.