Riboflavin is a funny word

Chemists have designed a polymer that can improve the shelf life of drinks, such as beer.

The chemical structure of riboflavin printed on a pint of beer

Riboflavin degrades in light, affecting the taste of drinks

One of the long standing problems in the drinks industry is how to prevent chemical processes in the drinks compromising their taste, quality and shelf life. In particular, riboflavin (vitamin B2) is responsible for driving photooxidation reactions that affect the flavour of many drinks and so they often have to be packaged in light-shielded containers.

Now Börje Sellergren, at the Technical University of Dortmund, Germany, and colleagues have developed a way of removing riboflavin. They imprinted riboflavin-shaped pockets into a polymer by synthesising it in the presence of riboflavin tetra-acetate template molecules. Removing the template left empty receptor pockets, which the team showed could capture and remove riboflavin from milk, beer and multivitamin mixtures.

Having just made up two batches of beer last night, this sort of struck me as interesting.

I’m also basically 12-years old and can’t hear the word ‘riboflavin’ without thinking of Jerry Lewis doing his nutty professor shtick.

Further, I’m comforted that “shtick” is in the Mac spell checker.

This concludes this episode of “Flow of Semi-Consciousness Theater.”