Acetaldehyde Beer Flavour Standard


The Acetaldehyde Beer Flavour Standard represents a flavour that is present in all beers. At high concentrations it is considered an off-flavour. Acetaldehyde may also be a positive contribution to the flavour of some beer styles. Acetaldehyde is perceived as a green apple or solvent like flavour, almost like an emulsion paint type flavour.Acetaldehyde changes its sensory perception within different beers – from a dirty solvent flavour to an ethereal flavour in others. This is largely dependant on the beer brand and type when it occurs.

This Flavour Standard is available in capsules of five and is recommended for beginner and intermediate taster training as it can commonly occur.

Origins of flavour

Acetaldehyde is produced by yeast during fermentation. Indicative of high O2 levels in packaged beer, but can also be formed by contaminating bacteria. This flavour can also occur due to PET packaging problems in bottles. PET production produces acetaldehyde and this can leech into the finished beer if packaged in bottles.


Acetaldehyde is a recommended Flavour Standard of ASBC and the EBC.

GMP Flavour Standards

Each Flavour Standard needs to be free from contaminants, to have a consistent flavour intensity and to be fit for human consumption. Flavour Standards were produced to food grade and ISO quality levels of production, however these were not suitable for today’s professional sensory panels who require a much high level of quality, traceability and consistency of product. Both food grade and ISO quality including 9001 and 17025 do not ensure a quality product, only that specific processes have been met.

FlavorActiV’s GMP Flavour Standards use the pharmaceutical industry’s quality standards known as GMP – the ultimate in human consumption quality levels. All of our GMP Flavour Standards are manufactured in our dedicated GMP Flavour Centre located in the UK. Our GMP Flavour Centre was purpose built from the ground up to produce Flavour Standards of the highest quality levels. Our GMP Flavour Centre is the only one of its kind in the world and produces flavour standard material for use globally. Only GMP Flavour Standards provide sufficient quality for professional sensory panels to train and validate with. Learn more here.

Associated terms

  • Aldehydic
  • Bruised apples
  • Emulsion paint


  • Gas Chromatography
  • Enzymic Assay

Typical concentration in beer

  • 2 - 15 mg/l

Approximate flavour threshold

  • 5 - 15 mg/l

Beer flavour wheel number

  • 0150
BFS Promo Acetaldehyde

BFS Promo Acetaldehyde

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