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J Agric Food Chem. 2009 Nov 11;57(21):9923-31. doi: 10.1021/jf901683v.

Study on the role of precursors in coffee flavor formation using in-bean experiments.

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Nestle Product Technology Centre Orbe, Nestec Ltd., CH-1350 Orbe, Switzerland.


The formation of several key odorants, such as 2-furfurylthiol (FFT), alkylpyrazines, and diketones, was studied upon coffee roasting. The approach involved the incorporation of potential precursors in green coffee beans by means of biomimetic in-bean and spiking experiments. Both labeled and unlabeled precursor molecules were used, and the target analytes in the roasted coffee samples were characterized in terms of their isotope labeling pattern and abundance. The biomimetic in-bean experiments ruled out the 2-furaldehyde route to FFT as suggested by model studies. Furthermore, no evidence was found for the incorporation of the arabinose C5 skeleton into FFT. Pathways proposed for the formation of alkylpyrazines and diketones were confirmed, and a new mechanism is suggested for the formation of 2-ethenyl-3-ethyl-5-methylpyrazine. The role of amino acids, for example, alanine, and free sugars was substantiated. The results underscore the potential of this methodology to provide better understanding of the formation pathways occurring in complex food systems, which may be different from those obtained in model experiments.

[Indexed for MEDLINE]

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