Cider Science

This interesting article from Chemistry World this week explores the chemistry behind the cider making process.

Many of us are aware of the basic science behind the fermentation process – turning sugar into alcohol – but do you know what chemicals are responsible for the various flavours and aromas in each different cider?

The article explains the whole process of cider production, which is unknown to many of us, and is a career path many chemists wouldn’t have even thought of. It’s actually quite complex, and even the exact variety of apple can have a massive effect on a cider by having different amounts of tannins and malic acid. Apple tannins vary between different apple varieties, with the degree of polymerisation of polyphenols affecting the bitterness of the cider.

There’s also some insight into the research being carried out into cider production, and the analysis being carried out by chemists not only to determine the composition of ciders, but to investigate the processes at work during their fermentation.

It really is quite a fascinating read, and I personally always enjoy finding out the chemical background of something apparently so simple in our every day lives.

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