'Facial treatment' beer

Beer rich in hop polyphenol claims to promote smooth skin

Sept 8, 2003 - A Japanese scientist has developed a beer that he claims acts as a facial treatment. Yes, you drink it and, no, you don't rub it on.


"I wanted our beer to not only taste good, but to have some health benefits," said Sho Shind, who developed the beer. "Local brands of beer can't survive in the competitive market unless they have some unique features."

Shindo, chief scientist at the Akita Research Institute of Food and Brewing, in cooperation with three breweries in Akita Prefecture, developed the a beer rich in hop polyphenol, which is said to repress activities of an enzyme that causes wrinkles and slack skin. Polyphenol is the health-promoting ingredient found in red wine. The beer was released under three labels in July.

After studying microbiology at Tsukuba University graduate school, Shindo began working at a leading brewery in 1988. At the company, he studied the yeast used in beer. One day he noticed that the researcher who sampled beer being brewed each day had a very smooth complexion.

"I wondered if there was something in the beer that made his complexion so smooth," he said. "I wanted to find out what the secret ingredient was and create a new product."

In 1995, Shindo began working at the research institute. It was there that he ascertained that hop polyphenol was the key ingredient that promoted smooth skin.

In the ordinary beer manufacturing process, however, very little polyphenol is retained in the malt extract used to make beer. He produces beer rich in polyphenol by adjusting the length of time the malt was left to boil, among other techniques.

"I can't guarantee that our beer will give you a smooth complexion, but beer certainly has various health benefits, such as the prevention of arterial sclerosis," Shindo said.

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