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Coffee chemistry

Coffee, like all plants, contains thousands of chemical components, all with different characteristics. Although coffee is one of the most studied plants, still many components remain undetected and little is known about the effects on humans of the majority of the substances present in the coffee been and the coffee that we drink.

Many chemical compounds have been identified in coffee beans and these compounds react and interact at all stages of coffee processing to produce a final product with an even greater diversity and complexity of structures. Coffea arabica and Coffea canephora, Robusta, are qualitatively and quantitatively different in chemical composition as shown in the table below

Main constituents of green coffee (% dry matter) :

 

Constituent

Arabica

Robusta

Caffeine and trace of purines

1.2

2.2

Trigonelline

1.0

0.7

Total amino acids

10.3

10.3

of which free

0.5

0.8

Carbohydrates

56.9

60.8

Aliphatic acids

1.7

1.6

Lipids

16.0

10.0

Glycosides

0.2

Traces

Minerals

4.2

4.4

Potassium

1.7

1.8

All the constituents that are present in the coffee bean are transformed during roasting, and a large variety of compounds can be extracted and found in the coffee infusions. Some constituents of coffee beans can be destroyed during roasting, giving new compounds present in the brews or volatile substances .

Some of the main substances in coffee are described in further detail below :

 



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