The impact of vibrations, shocks, and temperature during distribution on the flavor quality of bottled beer

Date: 22 June 2018

Venue: University of Antwerp, Promotiezaal Grauwzusters - Lange SInt-Annastraat 7 - 2000 Antwerp (route: UAntwerpen, Stadscampus)

Time: 5:00 PM

PhD candidate: Alexander Paternoster

Principal investigator: Prof. dr. Johan Braet, Prof. dr. Johan Springael

Short description: PhD defence Alexander Paternoster - Faculty of Applied Economics


The increasing globalization progressively induce Belgian beer to be available outside the borders of Belgium. The export of Belgian beer has been rising by double digit numbers, year after year, starting from 2000. Nevertheless, there have been issues related to the exported beer: the flavor quality and stability of the beer is considerably lower. In other words, the beer that is exported, experiences flavor changes that are destructive and irreversible of nature. In this Ph.D. dissertation, the impact of transport and storage conditions (i.e. temperature, vibrations and shocks) on the beer flavor stability and its economic implications are assessed.

In a first part of the dissertation, the research findings are discussed with respect to temperature and vibration measurements (1), experimental tests (2) and taste experiments (3). Temperature and vibration measurements during beer transport (trucks, trains and ships) were executed to monitor the exposure of beer to external conditions and to identify the impact of the packaging. Consecutively, various experimental tests were designed in which the effect of temperature, vibrations (and its interaction effect) on the beer flavor quality is assessed. Also, the consumer perception with respect to fresh and aged beer was tested – the ability to differentiate fresh from aged beer, the preference and the drinkability.

In a second part of the thesis, economic feasibility studies of refrigerated transports (1), horizontal collaboration in logistics (2) and transport & storage simulations (3) were described. Refrigerated transports can reduce the exposure and impact of both temperature and vibrations on the beer flavor stability. Horizontal collaboration, i.e. the bundling of cargo, reduces transport costs and might be implemented in combination with refrigerated transports. Transport & storage simulations can be implemented in order to control and further study the flavor stability of beers. 

In sum, this Ph.D. thesis aims to address the beer flavor stability problem of exported beer, a frequently overlooked and underestimated problem. The thesis is relevant for the (Belgian) breweries, governmental agencies that invest in beer research, food scientists in general that might research the impact of transport conditions on other food products, and the general consumer that should be aware of the beer flavor stability problem.