The AlmaMAC Episode 166: Wine, Whiskey, Coffee, Beer, and the Maillard reaction w/ Hannah Charnock


The Maillard reaction what makes a lot of foods taste great. When sugars and proteins are heated, they created a cascade of delicious molecules that make toasted bread so nice, seared steaks so satisfying, and coffee drinkable. The Maillard reaction usually requires heat, but in some cases (sparkling wine), it doesn’t. The reason is still a mystery.
Whiskey is one of those drinks that seem to command a higher price the older it is. As a whiskey ages, things happen to its chemical makeup that changes, making it more desirable to whiskey-lovers. However, having to age a product for years means high quality whiskey production requires a huge investment in both time and money. But what if you could get the same effect without having to wait years and years? What if whiskey could be artificially aged by blasting soundwaves at it?
On this episode, Adam talks to Hannah Charnock about her work in various beverage industries, studying how the Maillard reaction affects the end product of some of our favorite fluids. They also talk about her upcoming Pint of Science Canada talk, where she will be presenting some of her work on the aging of whiskey.
[Hannah is working toward an MSc at Brock University’s Cool Climate Oenology & Viticulture Institute (CCOVI), focused on investigating the impact of sugar-type on Maillard Reaction (MR) associated flavours in sparkling wine under supervision of Dr. Belinda Kemp & Prof. Gary Pickering.] (


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