Australia’s experiment with gluten-free beer is expected to set off new trends in the world beer market by creating a new niche market of beers for the health-conscious. Certainly, gluten-free beer will be a boon for coeliacs and those on a diet to enjoy a beer without any health concerns.
In the first ever global debut, first gluten-free barley beer “Pionier”, will be hitting the German supermarkets on Friday, reports the Huffington Post.
In making barley gluten free, conventional plant breeding methods were used by the Commonwealth Scientific and Industrial Research Organisation (CSIRO). Its researchers in Australia developed Kebari barley, which is the world’s first barley grain with extremely low levels of hordeins.
“Using conventional breeding we’ve reduced the gluten levels to 10,000 times less than regular barley, which more than meets the World Health Organisation’s recommendation for calling a grain gluten-free,” CSIRO Principal Research Scientist Dr. Crispin Howitt said.
CSIRO sold 70 tonnes of the new Kebari barley to Germany’s largest brewer Radeberger for producing the beer for sale at local supermarkets. Radeberger used Kebari barley for the commercial production of Pionier, the full-flavoured gluten-free beer.
“It’s really exciting seeing the first product made with the malted version of our Kebari grain. We hope it’s the first of many products,” Dr. Howitt said.
Though Pionier beer will be restricted to Germany, Australian brewers will soon join the Kebari barley opportunity to develop their own gluten-free barley beers.
According to CSIRO, as soon as the hull-less version of Kebari is ready, more manufacturers will launch different foods containing Kebari barley.
“Gluten-free barley will be highly sought after, with European brewers particularly interested,” said John O’Brien, a brewer of gluten-free beer in Melbourne.
Gluten-free has become the fastest growing consumer segment with an average 10 percent growth and is worth $7.59 billion, a 2015 report by MarketsandMarket said.
“A true gluten-free barley variety is a true game changer, there is going to be a massive market for the product,” said Phin Ziebell, an agribusiness economist at National Australia Bank.
Development of “gluten-free” barley will also be boosting Australia’s ability to capitalize on the growing global gluten-free market, reports Reuters.