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High levels of melatonin generated during the brewing process


Address reprint requests to Maria D. Maldonado, MD, PhD, Department of Medical Biochemistry, Molecular Biology and Immunology, University of Seville Medical School, Avda. Sánchez Pizjuán 4, 41009, Seville, Spain.



Beer is a beverage consumed worldwide. It is produced from cereals (barley or wheat) and contains a wide array of bioactive phytochemicals and nutraceutical compounds. Specifically, high melatonin concentrations have been found in beer. Beers with high alcohol content are those that present the greatest concentrations of melatonin and vice versa. In this study, gel filtration chromatography and ELISA were combined for melatonin determination. We brewed beer to determine, for the first time, the beer production steps in which melatonin appears. We conclude that the barley, which is malted and ground in the early process, and the yeast, during the second fermentation, are the largest contributors to the enrichment of the beer with melatonin.

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