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Improvements in biomass measurement affecting practice and profitability in brewing and biotechnology

BEAA research has impacted positively on commerce in brewing and biotechnology companies worldwide through continuous collaboration with Aber Instruments, a spin-out company formed to commercialise Aberystwyth University research. Aber Instruments has supplied over 1000 fermentation monitoring systems world-wide for the on-line measurement of viable biomass concentration, providing improvements in speed and accuracy over previous off-line, culture or stain-based procedures. On-line, real-time monitoring of viability during fermentation reduces costs and improves product quality, leading to practitioners in large breweries including Anheuser Busch, SABMiller, Inbev, Coors, Diageo, Heineken, Suntory and San Miguel adopting the Yeast Monitor as part of their standard operating procedures. The new Futura instrument, which utilises the same technology developed from BEAA research, was launched in 2009 and is now used by major biotechnology companies including Genetech, Novo, Biogen Idec, GlaxoSmithKline, Centocor, Sandoz, Eli Lilly and Genzyme to monitor biomass in a much wider range of fermentations.

For more information contact Dr Hazel Davey (, Institute of Biological, Environmental and Rural Sciences, Penglais Campus, Aberystwyth University.

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