SCOTT LAFONTAINE, Assistant Professor in Food Chemistry, University of Arkansas

When November 30, 2023, 4:00 PM - 5:00 PM

Where 252 Erickson Food Science Building

The Lafontaine Laboratory at the University of Arkansas employs cutting-edge analytical instrumentation and cost-effective methodologies for the precise analysis of crops and value-added products. Our focus is on unraveling the intricate biochemistry of flavor, with a specific emphasis on raw materials associated with brewing. The ongoing research at the University of Arkansas contributes to collaborative initiatives, including with UofA public breeding programs, with a notable focus on blackberries and rice. We aim to enhance the flavor profiles of novel crop cultivars in alignment with consumer preferences and unique functionality/characteristics. As the co-director of our brewing certificate program and founder of the University of Arkansas Beverage Development Facility, we aspire to lead the SEC/US in training the next generation of southern brewers. Our efforts also extend to developing innovative strategies for utilizing rice in beverage development, such as malted rice, and designing the nonalcoholic beers of the future.

This comprehensive approach has evolved through my career's research experiences. For instance, from 2015 to 2018 during my Ph.D. at Oregon State University, the surge of India Pale Ales (IPAs) as an indispensable craft beer style led to increased use of hops for their aromatic potential. However, understanding the essential components in hops impacting beer aroma and the influence of different processes on the farm and in the brewery was lacking. Consequently, we conducted projects to identify these components and explore methods for manipulating hop composition to enhance beer aroma and flavor. In 2019, during a post-doc at the University of California, Davis we recognized the European brewing market's focus on developing non-alcoholic beer and addressed the lack of American consumer preference research in this area. Then from 2020-2022 as a Humboldt Post-doctoral fellow hosted by the VLB in Berlin, we worked on several ways to improve beer flavor stability such as hop elemental con and storage conditions.

Throughout this seminar, we will delve into some of these past/ current research findings to illustrate how these experiences and techniques are currently applied at the UofA to enhance the agility, efficiency, and profitability of agricultural commodities and novel prodmpositiouct development for businesses in the US.