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Roasting Process of Coffee Produces Beneficial Antioxidants

The food scientists from the University of British Columbia found out the chemistry behind the antioxidant benefits of coffee. It is the roasting process which is responsible for antioxidants present in the coffee.

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The lead author of the study Yazheng Liu and the co-author Prof. David Kitts, discovered that the antioxidants of the dark roasted coffee extracts are the result of roasting green beans under high temperature when they turn brown. They analyzed the mixture of chemical compounds which are produced during the browning process. This is known as the “Maillard reaction.” It is this Mailliard reaction which produces the antioxidants.

Earlier studies suggested the presence of antioxidants in the coffee was due to the chlorogenic acid or the caffeine which is found in the green coffee beans. But the latest study suggests that the Mailliard reaction causes the production of antioxidants. The researchers noted that 90% of chlorogenic acid is lost while roasting the beans.

Some scientists feel that the antioxidant activity increases with coffee made from the dark roasted beans while others feel that it actually decreases. The UBC study, finally set the record straight about coffee and the antioxidants. It is these antioxidants which fight against the free radicals which are linked to aging process. The study will be published in the Food Research International shortly.

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