How this Philippine researcher combined durian and beer to create healthy probiotic booze

An ale that rewards drinkers with a healthy gut may sound like an idea devised during a night of heavy boozing.

Combine that beer with durian – the spiky, smelly, sometimes polarising fruit popular throughout Southeast Asia – and it’s a concept bordering on the absurd.

This sheer novelty value – and a love of beer – inspired Kriza Calumba, a food and science technology instructor from Davao in the Philippines, to create her unusual but healthy concoction.

“We already know how good probiotics are for the body but food or drinks that have them are usually dairy-based,” said Calumba, who works at the University of the Philippines-Mindanao.

“So I thought, why not have beer that has probiotics? It can be another way for those who may be lactose-intolerant … and it can be a healthier option for those who want to enjoy their beer.”

Calumba researched the possibility of probiotic beer for her postgraduate thesis after travelling in 2017 to the US to pursue a Master’s degree in food science at Louisiana State University (LSU) on a prestigious Fulbright scholarship.

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