To improve the quality and processing efficiency of food products from agricultural crops primarily by facilitating genetic selection by plant breeders. To date applications of this objective have been in beer (barley), soymilk/tofu (soybeans) and edible oil (canola). These objectives have been achieved by the small scale mimicking the food production process that has required a thorough understanding of the process and its quality evaluation.
In malting barley research, Dr Evans’ philosophy is to follow malt quality from barley genetics through biochemistry to the finished beer, that is from “Grass to Glass”. This ensures that the selection of new quality genes by Australian barley breeders results in the desired changes in malt quality without unexpected negative consequences that can occur. My specific areas of research interest can be summarised as follows:
- The diastase enzymes that hydrolyse starch into fermentable sugars.
- Malt proteins that influence either beer foam or haze stability.
- Malt components that influence mash and beer filtration.
- Use of exogenous enzymes in brewing (barley brewing with Ondea Pro®)
- The microbial safety and quality of barley.
- Protein modification during malting and mashing.
- Impact of malt on beer flavor.
- The use of malted hulless barley for brewing.
- Barley terroir.
- The barley genetics of all of the above.
Combined with extensive industry conference presentations, Dr Evans’s group is highly regarded both by the Australian and international brewing community. This effective and sincere engagement with the industry has resulted in the strong industry support for his projects. In 2005 Dr Evans was up graded to a Fellow of the Institute of Brewing and Distilling.