School of Biosciences

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David Cook

Professor in Brewing Science, Faculty of Science



David has 20 years of experience conducting research and teaching relating to brewing, malting, analytical food chemistry and flavour technology. He is Course Director for the University's Masters-level brewing qualifications, and played a significant part in developing these innovative e-learning-based professional development programs for brewers globally.

Current research focuses on malting science and technology, beer flavour formation and stability and the reduction of primary energy usage in malting and brewing. The Cook research group has strong track record of collaboration with and sponsorship by industry, including maltsters and multinational brewing companies.


1984-1988: BSc.(Hons.) in Chemistry & Food Science, The University of Reading, UK

2000-2003: PhD Food Flavour Technology, sponsored by Firmenich SA, Geneva. 'The effects of viscosity on flavour perception' (University of Nottingham).

Expertise Summary

The Cook research group specialises in:

  • Assessing the functional performance of raw materials in wort production at laboratory and pilot scales, e.g. use of alternative raw materials, adjuncts or enzymes. Linking starch structure, composition and thermal properties to brewing performance.
  • Pilot malting for R&D projects, primarily aimed at novel process development, reducing malting losses and energy/ water inputs or the evaluation of malting performance of cereals/ new cultivars.
  • Characterising the flavour and sensory quality of beers and brewing raw materials. Includes the application of advanced instrumental techniques (APCI-MS, GC-MS, GC-O, HPLC) to study the formation, composition and sensory impact of flavour congeners in foods/beverages. We collaborate with the Sensory Science Centre at Nottingham utilising their specialist beer and malt taste panel.
  • The application of Electron Spin Resonance spectroscopy to predict and extend the shelf-life of packaged beer
  • Studying thermal flavour and colour generation via Maillard, caramelisation and pyrolysis reactions as influenced by food/beverage processing conditions.
  • Biomaterials processing and characterisation; development of biorefinery processes, valorisation of brewing co-product streams.

Research Summary

Current research falls into three main themes: 1. Brewing and beer quality 2. Malting Science & Technology 3. Valorisation of biomaterials and co-product streams

Exemplar projects:

  • Application of electron spin resonance spectroscopy to improve beer flavour stability
  • Development of energy efficient malting and brewing processes through the omission of malt kilning
  • Qualitative characteristics of beer bitterness and perceptual interactions between bitterness and hop aroma
  • Flavour of distilled spirits and the impacts of maturation in wood on spirit flavour
  • Sensory properties of roasted malt products
  • Flavour development during malt roasting
  • Valorisation of Brewer's grains

Selected Publications

  • PARR, HEBE, BOLAT, IRINA and COOK, DAVID, 2021. Modelling flavour formation in roasted malt substrates under controlled conditions of time and temperature Food chemistry. 337, 127641-127641
  • JOANNA YORKE, DAVID COOK and REBECCA FORD, 2021. Brewing with Unmalted Cereal Adjuncts: Sensory and Analytical Impacts on Beer Quality Beverages (Basel). 7(1), 4
  • DUGULIN, CELINA A, ACUÑA MUÑOZ, LUISA M, BUYSE, JASPER, DE ROUCK, GERT, BOLAT, IRINA and COOK, DAVID J, 2020. Brewing with 100% green malt – process development and key quality indicators Journal of the Institute of Brewing. 126(4), 343-353
  • GADON, ARTHUR, LINFORTH, ROBERT, HARDING, STEPHEN E and COOK, DAVID, 2019. Characterisation of high molecular weight hop proanthocyanidins using Analytical Ultracentrifugation Scientific reports. 9(1), 12650-8

School of Biosciences

University of Nottingham
Sutton Bonington Campus
Nr Loughborough
LE12 5RD, UK

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