It has been known for some time that coffee is more than just a beverage that can give you a jolt of caffeine. Coffee has some special ingredients — mainly in the form of antioxidants — that could help with a number of health problems. Research shows that coffee helps to regulate insulin and stabilize blood sugar in those who are diabetic. The antioxidants in this healing food could also play a role in fighting heart disease and as a digestive aid.
To learn more, read The Four Elements That Make Coffee a Food Cure
But did you know that the way your coffee is roasted could affect its antioxidant potential? According to a recent study, roasting times and roasting methods could impact the percentage of antioxidants left in your cup of coffee by the time it’s brewed.
For the study, researchers investigated the role of roasting conditions in antioxidant formation. The researchers looked at methanol and hot water extracts from Robusta coffee beans roasted for various lengths of time and at various temperatures. They then analyzed these roasted coffee beans for total phenolic acid, chlorogenic acid, and caffeine content, as well as for their antioxidant activities. Phenolic acids are plant compounds that protect against oxidative damage; chlorogenic acid is an antioxidant that helps slow the release of glucose into the bloodstream after a meal.
The researchers found that the amount of total phenolics in methanol extracts of coffee decreased as the roasting temperature went higher. The same held true for total chlorogenic acid content: it decreased when the roasting time was increased, moving from 78% in green coffee beans to four percent in coffee beans roasted for 16 minutes at 250°C.
In general, the antioxidant activity of methanol extracts of green coffee beans and roasted coffee beans ranged from 93% for green coffee beans to 98% for roasted beans at 250°C for 14 min. The researchers concluded that the results of their study indicate that roasting conditions of coffee beans play an important role in the formation of antioxidants in brewed coffee.
Drinking coffee in moderation can be beneficial to your health. The health tip gained from this study seems to be that higher temperatures and longer roasting times could negatively affect the antioxidant capacity of brewed coffee. It might be worth investigating this a little further to make sure you get the most from your morning cup of coffee.