AB InBev has partnered with crop improvement company Benson Hill Biosystems to develop more productive and sustainable barley varieties.
The brewer, which makes beers such as Hoegaarden and Stella Artois, will use Benson Hill’s Breed application in combination with traditional breeding methods to help accelerate the development of higher yielding barley varieties that use less water and other natural resources.
Recent reports have highlighted the sensitivity of barley to extreme heat and drought, underscoring the importance of developing varieties with greater resilience to climate change, the companies said.
Benson Hill will use its CropOS platform, which identifies the most promising genetics for any targeted outcome, from higher yield to environmental sustainability or enhanced nutrition. The platform is said to calibrate and evolve with each field trial and data set, improving its predictive capability to accelerate product development.
Gary Hanning, global director of barley research at AB InBev, said: “For AB InBev, brewing quality beer starts with the best ingredients. That requires a healthy environment and thriving communities.
“Benson Hill’s powerful Breed application positions us at the forefront of innovation to develop more resilient and sustainable varieties of barley for growers and the best quality malt for our brewers.”
Matt Crisp, CEO and co-founder of Benson Hill, added: “AB InBev recognises the power of plants and innovation to benefit both farmers and consumers.
“The Benson Hill team is eager to apply the predictive power of CropOS to AB InBev’s SmartBarley programme and rapidly advance its breeding efforts.”
© FoodBev Media Ltd 2019