From the HBD Archive
From: rds@vogon.cray.com (Bob Swanson)
Subject: unknown
Date: 1989-07-11 13:30:19 GMT

Nitrosamines

I came upon the following item in "World Press
Review" magazine. It is taken from "Le Monde"
of Paris:

"Scientists in Britain have correlated pancreatic
cancer and excessive consumption of British
beer. After a small four-year study, the
British Imperial Cancer Research Fund concluded
that consumption of even 3.7 quarts per week
increases the risk of death from pancreatic
cancer threefold. The culprits are potentially
carcinogenic nitrosamines, generated when malt
is roasted in the brewing process."

I remember some controversy about nitrosamines
in this country in recent years. The fallout seemed
to be that these chemicals were the result
of "cutting corners" in the brewing process by
the massive-sized U. S. brewers.

One of the questions in my mind is whether
these same "shortcut" techniques are used
by the makers of real ale in Britain. It is assumed
that such techniques are common in the tank farms of
mass consumption brews, including lager.

For this forum, the question would be:
Do we home brewers have any control over the
generation of nitrosamines in our brews? I am
an extract brewer. Should I be concerned about
the brands and types of extract which I purchase?
Does the making of dark beers increase the concentration
of these chemicals?

Any insights about this issue would be most welcomed.

Bob Swanson
Cray Research
rds@hall.cray.com

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