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J Agric Food Chem. 2002 Oct 23;50(22):6527-33.

Chemical characterization and antioxidant properties of coffee melanoidins.

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Dipartimento di Scienza degli Alimenti, Università di Napoli Federico II, Parco Gussone, 80055, Portici (Napoli), Italy.


Melanoidins, the brown polymers formed through Maillard reaction during coffee roasting, constitute up to 25% of the coffee beverages' dry matter. In this study chemical characterization of melanoidins obtained from light-, medium-, and dark-roasted coffee beans, manufactured from the same starting material, was performed. Melanoidins were separated by gel filtration chromatography and studied by MALDI-TOF mass spectrometry. Results showed that the amount of melanoidins present in the brews increased as the intensity of the thermal treatment increased, while their molecular weight decreased. The antioxidant activity of melanoidins isolated from the different brews was studied by using different methodologies. Melanoidins antiradical activity determined by ABTS(*)(+) and DMPD(*)(+) assays decreased as the intensity of roasting increased, but the ability to prevent linoleic acid peroxidation was higher in the dark-roasted samples. Data suggest that melanoidins must be carefully considered when the relevance of coffee intake in human health is studied.

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