USP scientists use radiation to age cachaça

In order to accelerate the production of cachaas, scientists from USP have developed a method of “aging” them with radiation.

The manufacture is the same as for traditional brandy, the difference that after being distilled, the drink is bottled and subjected to gamma rays, eliminating the aging stage in barrels, which can last for years.

The device called an irradiator ionizes the atoms in the spirit and causes chemical reactions that alter its acidity, alcohol content and flavor.

The amount of radiation reaches 0.3 kilogray per dose. According to physicists, the level is considered low and safe for human consumption, even if it is equivalent to approximately 10,000 computed tomography scans.

In an interview Folha de So Paulo, Valter Arthur, from the Laboratory of Radiobiology and Environment of Cena (Center for Nuclear Energy in Agriculture) at USP, explains that one of the difficulties in the manufacture of ionized cachaa is high investment.

An radiator costs an average of $ 3.5 million. For this reason, Arthur believes that a solution would be to create ionization centers that would provide service to brandy manufacturers.

Another issue is that the ionized drink is transparent and many fans of cachaa do caste matter of yellowish tone. The solution found by the researchers was to leave the drink in peanut barrels for six months until it acquired the desired color. The researchers are still working with essences and other elements to increase the drink.

In a blind test with 40 students from USP, the researchers say that no differences were detected between the ionized drink and the traditional drink. However, experts heard by Folha stated that the irradiated cachaa does not have the same peculiarities as naturally aged.

Curiosities Science Gastronomy

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