26 days of beer

X is for xanthohumol


Hops contain xanthohumol. Yes, they do.

So X is another one of those letters where there isn’t a lot going on in the Oxford Companion to Beer.

There are just three entries – and one of them (xerogel) is nothing more than a pointer to “see silica gel”. And no, Castlemaine’s XXXX didn’t get a look-in.

So the choice was between xanthohumol (a word that stumped my iPad’s predictive text) and xylose.

The first setence in the entry for xylose confused me (it’s some sort of sugar) so xanthohumol it is. What is it? It’s a “prenylated flavonoid” found in hops apparently. It doesn’t do anything to beer but it’s good for us. It has anti-inflammatory benefits and anti-carcinogenic properties.

But science is unsure whether that means beer is good for us. Xanthohumol tends to boil off during the brewing. But it’s isomerized counterpart isoxanthohumol doesn’t and there is a school of thought that the digestion process can turn that back into xanthohumol.


What’s the go here?: For those who have just stumbled across this post, I’m going through the Oxford Companion to Beer (OCB) and posting an entry for every letter. Why? Because I have a copy at home but hadn’t really gone through it page by page and I figured this would be an exercise that would force me to do that.

Categories: 26 days of beer, book, news

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