Mitigating health risks associated with alcoholic beverages through metabolic engineering

Lahiru N. Jayakody, Stephan Lane, Heejin Kim, Yong Su Jin

Research output: Contribution to journalReview articlepeer-review


Epidemiological studies have established a positive relationship between the occurrence of cancer and consumption of alcoholic beverages. Metabolic engineering of brewing yeast to reduce potential carcinogenic compounds in alcoholic beverage is technically feasible as well as economically promising. This review presents the mechanisms of formation of potentially carcinogenic components in alcoholic beverages, such as formaldehyde, acetaldehyde, ethyl carbamate, acrylamide, and heavy metals, and introduces effective genetic perturbations to minimize the concentrations of these harmful components. As precise and effective genome editing tools for polyploid yeast are now available, we envision that yeast metabolic engineering might open up new research directions for improving brewing yeast in order to ensure product safety as well as to increase overall quality of alcoholic beverages.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)173-181
Number of pages9
JournalCurrent Opinion in Biotechnology
StatePublished - Feb 1 2016

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Biotechnology
  • Bioengineering
  • Biomedical Engineering


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