Roasting level alters the nutritional benefits of coffee

Coffee beans lose some of their antioxidant and anti-inflammatory properties when they're heavily roasted, new research suggests. Photo by Dima Sobko/Shutterstock

June 20 (UPI) — According to new research, coffee’s antioxidant and anti-inflammatory properties are diminished by roasting. The longer coffee beans are roasted, the less they offer antioxidant and anti-inflammatory benefits.

Scientists in Korea tested the nutritional effects of roasting times on beans from Coffea arabica, the coffee shrub native to the southwestern highlands of Ethiopia. While caffeine levels were mostly unaffected by roasting times, chlorogenic acid levels were depressed by longer roasting times.

When researchers tested the coffee extracts from different beans on animal models, they found antioxidant and anti-inflammatory activity was depressed by heavier roasts.

The scientists published their findings in the Journal of Medicinal Food.

“When people think of coffee, they often associate the beverage with caffeine. However, coffee beans have many other chemicals that could help fight chronic inflammatory diseases,” journal editor Sampath Parthasarathy, the interim associate dean at the University of Central Florida’s College of Medicine, said in a news release.

“Coffee drinkers are passionate about different roasts — light, medium and dark. This study suggests that some of the potentially beneficial compounds could be affected by the roasting process. This article would certainly change my coffee roast preference!”


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