Study Compares Higher-Antioxidant Coffee Fruit Extract to Coffee Powder

April 15, 2011

A new study published online in the Journal of Agricultural and Food Chemistry examined the polyphenol content of various forms of coffee fruit ingredients and found higher levels of chlorogenic acids (CGA; the polyphenols abundant in whole coffee fruit) in whole coffee fruit, as well as lower caffeine levels, compared with air-dried or freeze-dried powders.

The study was performed by researchers from ingredients supplier FutureCeuticals (Momence, IL), the University of Glasgow, the University of Surrey, and Brunswick Laboratories.

Researchers analyzed the effects of production methods on CGA levels and caffeine content in four distinct variations of CoffeeBerry, FutureCeuticals’ trademarked coffee berry brand: 1) a patented and commercially available whole coffee fruit extract prepared by a proprietary, multistep extraction and purification method, 2) a patented and commercially available whole coffee fruit extract prepared by a proprietary, single-step extraction and purification method, 3) a patent-pending air-dried whole coffee fruit powder, and 4) a patent-pending freeze-dried whole coffee fruit powder.

The multistep extract material exhibited the highest CGA content and antioxidant capacity, and the lowest caffeine content. CGA contents by weight were 80% and 42% for the multi- and single-step extracts, respectively. For the powders, CGA contents by weight were 4.5% for the air-dried powder and 8.8% for the freeze-dried powder. Caffeine levels ranged from 0.44% in the multistep extract to 1.03% in the air-dried powder.

The researchers say the study shows that whole coffee fruit extracts may provide higher levels of CGA content compared to powder forms in part because processing, such as coffee bean roasting, typically destroys some of the beneficial CGA content in the process.

The authors concluded by pointing out that a 1-g dose of the multistep whole coffee fruit extract delivers more than 10 times the CGAs of a typical cup of brewed coffee. Yet, that same 1-g serving of the whole coffee fruit extract contains only approximately 4.4 mg of caffeine versus the 100 to 150 mg of caffeine in a single cup of brewed coffee.

“On the basis of the discovery of the high chlorogenic acids content and antioxidant capacity and low caffeine levels of the whole coffee fruit extracts, the study suggests that intake of foods, beverages, and supplements containing these extracts can provide a convenient means of chlorogenic acids supplementation for non-coffee consumers, and for situations demanding reduced caffeine intake, such as during pregnancy,” FutureCeuticals stated.

W Mullen et al., “The antioxidant and chlorogenic acid profiles of whole coffee fruits are influenced by the extraction procedures,” Journal of Agricultural and Food Chemistry, published online ahead of print March 14, 2011.