Coffee processing involves converting the raw fruit of the coffee plant into the finished coffee. The epidermis of the coffee bean i.e. coffee silverskin is usually removed during processing after the beans have been dried, while the coffee grounds are normally directly discarded. It has traditionally been assumed that these by-products, coffee silverskin and coffee grounds, have few practical uses and applications. So they end up in landfills causing considerable knock-on effect on the environment. However, a new research has revealed that the antioxidant effects of coffee by-products are 500 times greater than those found in vitamin C and could be employed to create functional foods with significant health benefits.
Lead researcher Jose Angel Rufian Henares, professor at University of Granada in Spain, said, "They also contain high levels of melanoidins, which are produced during the roasting process and give coffee its brown color. The biological properties of these melanoidins could be harnessed for a range of practical applications, such as preventing harmful pathogens from growing in food products. If we are to harness the beneficial prebiotic effects of the coffee by-products, first of all we need to remove the melanoidins, since they interfere with such beneficial prebiotic properties."
Thus, the researchers concluded that processed coffee by-products could potentially be recycled as sources of new food ingredients, and this would also greatly diminish the environmental impact of discarded coffee by-products.
The study has been published in the Food Science and Technology