Bitterleaf as local substitute for hops in the nigerian brewing industry | Abstract
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Bitterleaf as local substitute for hops in the nigerian brewing industry

Author(s): Adama, K.K., Oberafo, A.A., Dika, S.I

lot of effort had been made in the Nigerian brewing industry to substitute barley with some local cereals in production of alcoholic and non-alcoholic drinks. However, the substitution of hops with local raw materials has not received commensurate attention. This paper investigated the brewing qualities of bitterleaf (Vernonia Amygdalina) using extraction with appropriate solvent and steam or hydro distillation to obtain the bitterleaf extract. Thereafter, the extract was characterized in order to determine its suitability for use in brewing by comparing it with those of standard commercial hops values. The physicochemical analysis of the bitterleaf showed that the sample extract had brewing properties or variables as follows: Iso-alpha acid (mg/l) of 8.52, alpha acid (mg/l) of 9.27, total resin (%) of 20.4, essential oil (%) of 1.20 and fat content (%) of 7.00. The Analytical Bitterness Unit (ABU) was found to be adequate and was equal to 8.73 European Bitterness Unit (EBU). The properties or variables of the present bitterleaf extract was found to compare favourable with those of the commercial hops used as basis for comparison though with variation in the fat content which was found to be 7.00% compared to the commercial hop which was 3.12%. Consequently, the results obtained showed that bitterleaf presents a potential substitute for hops in the Nigerian brewing industry though the timing of its use will depend upon economic and political considerations and the supply and demand for bitterleaf and hops.