This study was undertaken to explore how the use of pigmented corn as brewing ingredient influences the sensory profile of craft beers, by using both sensory and chemical analyses. Six pigmented corn and barley beers were brewed and then analysed to obtain their sensory characteristics, volatile composition and non-volatile (alcohol, bitterness, anthocyanins and polyphenol content) composition. ANOVAs, Principal Component Analysis (PCA) and Multiple Factor Analysis (MFA) were used to visualise these data for exploring the differences between beers based on the type of malt and to characterise corn beers considering the relationships between their sensory characteristics and their chemical parameters. The sensory attributes such as fermented fruits, cooked vegetables, tortillas, bread, dried fruits and dried chili characterised beers made 100% with pigmented corn. Over 100 volatiles were identified by head space-solid phase micro-extraction coupled with gas chromatography-mass spectrometry (HS-SPME/GC-MS). Among them, phenols and terpenes were the groups of volatiles that better characterised beers containing corn. The content of anthocyanins in corn beers provide the 'amber-red-cooper' colours in beers and may prevent the development of off-aromas and tastes. The use of pigmented corn seems to be a good option to renew the traditional 'Sendechó' while preserving some of its sensory attributes.
Keywords: GC-MS; HS-SPME; Sendechó; Zea mays; anthocyanins; sensory profile; volatiles.