Bioactive Compounds

Coffee Tradition Meets Science:

The Kefircoffee™ process leverages the untapped potential of unused sugars in green coffee beans, utilising them in a secondary fermentation with kefir cultures. This innovative approach not only ensures a more efficient use of the bean’s inherent resources but also significantly enhances the flavour profile of the coffee, making it more complex, nuanced, and enjoyable.

For roasters and coffee aficionados, this means access to a coffee product that stands out for its depth of flavour and aromatic richness, catering to consumers seeking a premium and distinctive coffee experience, and improving their gut health at the same time.

Antioxidants play a crucial role in neutralising free radicals, thus protecting the body from oxidative stress and associated chronic diseases.

Kefircoffee™ represents an innovative approach, combining 100% natural traditional fermentation with modern science. This results in a better tasting and healthier coffee experience.

The Kefircoffee™ process elevates the coffee’s existing flavour profile, enhancing its depth and complexity.

Enhanced Flavour: Kefircoffee™ process preserves the coffee’s unique flavour profile, but enhances its depth and complexity, creating a richer and more complex coffee experience.

Enhanced Health Benefits: Kefircoffee™ process increases the bioavailability of beneficial antioxidants in coffee, further amplifying its health benefits.

Standing Out from the Crowd: For coffee roasters and brands, Kefircoffee™ process offers a way to differentiate their product in a competitive market. It caters to health-conscious consumers and specialty coffee lovers alike.

Functional Beverage Focus: This process allows brands to cater to the growing demand for functional beverages that offer health benefits alongside great taste.

Probiotic Powerhouse: This process adds probiotics to the coffee, improving gut health and overall well-being. Independent verification by Teagasc is underway to confirm the estimated 250% increase in beneficial antioxidants after the Kefircoffee™ process.

Phenolic Acids: These are natural antioxidants found in many plants, including coffee beans. The text mentions three specific phenolic acids being tested:

Coffee Phenolic Acids :

Gallic Acid Coffee

Gallic Acid, a natural phenolic compound.

Antioxidant: Gallic acid is a potent antioxidant, capable of scavenging free radicals and reducing oxidative stress in the body. This action helps in preventing cellular damage that can lead to chronic diseases such as cancer, cardiovascular diseases, and neurodegenerative disorders.

Anti-inflammatory: It exhibits anti-inflammatory properties by inhibiting the production of pro-inflammatory cytokines. This can be beneficial in reducing the risk of inflammatory diseases and conditions.

Antimicrobial: Gallic acid has shown effectiveness against a broad spectrum of bacteria, fungi, and viruses, making it an interesting compound for antimicrobial research and applications in food preservation and medicine.

Anticancer: Some studies suggest that gallic acid can induce apoptosis (programmed cell death) in cancer cells without significantly affecting healthy cells, offering potential pathways for cancer treatment.

Cardiovascular Health: By promoting antioxidant and anti-inflammatory activities, gallic acid may contribute to the protection of cardiovascular health, including reducing the risk of atherosclerosis and regulating blood pressure.

Neuroprotective: Research indicates that gallic acid might have neuroprotective effects, potentially beneficial in the prevention or treatment of neurodegenerative diseases like Alzheimer’s and Parkinson’s disease.

The most abundant phenolic acid in coffee beans

Chlorogenic Acid (CGA) is a significant phenolic compound primarily found in coffee, but also present in smaller amounts in fruits and vegetables like apples, pears, artichokes, strawberries, pineapple, sunflower seeds, and blueberries. It consists of a family of esters formed between quinic acid and certain trans-cinnamic acids, including caffeic, ferulic, and p-coumaric acids. CGA is notably abundant in green coffee beans, with its content somewhat reduced during the roasting process due to decomposition.

Antioxidant: Chlorogenic acid is a powerful antioxidant that can neutralise harmful free radicals, reducing oxidative stress and the associated risk of chronic diseases such as heart disease, diabetes, and cancer.

Metabolism and Weight Loss: Studies have suggested that CGA can influence glucose and lipid metabolism, potentially reducing the absorption of glucose in the intestines and improving the metabolic profile. This has led to interest in its role in weight management and obesity prevention.

Blood Pressure Regulation: CGA has been shown to have a beneficial effect on blood pressure, with some clinical trials indicating that regular consumption of chlorogenic acid-rich coffee can lead to significant reductions in systolic and diastolic blood pressure.

Neuroprotective Effects: There is emerging evidence that chlorogenic acid may have neuroprotective properties, potentially playing a role in preventing neurodegenerative diseases such as Alzheimer’s disease by combating oxidative stress and inflammation in the brain.

Anti-inflammatory and Antimicrobial: CGA exhibits anti-inflammatory properties and has been found to have antimicrobial activity against a variety of microorganisms, making it valuable in fighting infections and reducing inflammation-related diseases.

Caffeic Acid is a naturally occurring organic compound classified as a hydroxycinnamic acid, a type of phenolic acid found in all plants because it’s a key intermediate in the biosynthesis of lignin, one of the principal components of plant cell walls. Beyond its presence in coffee, from which it derives its name, caffeic acid is found in a variety of foods, including fruits (such as apples, pears, and grapes), vegetables (like kale, artichokes, and potatoes), and spices (such as thyme, oregano, and sage).

Antioxidant Activity: Caffeic acid is well-known for its strong antioxidant properties, helping to neutralise harmful free radicals and reduce oxidative stress in the body. This can help prevent cellular damage that leads to aging and various chronic diseases.

Anti-inflammatory: It has been demonstrated to exhibit significant anti-inflammatory effects by inhibiting the production of pro-inflammatory markers in the body. This makes it potentially beneficial for reducing the risk of inflammation-related conditions such as heart disease and arthritis.

Anticancer Potential: Research suggests that caffeic acid may have anticancer properties, capable of inducing apoptosis (programmed cell death) in cancer cells, inhibiting tumor growth, and enhancing the effectiveness of cancer treatments.

Neuroprotective Effects: Studies have indicated that caffeic acid may offer protection against neurodegenerative diseases like Alzheimer’s and Parkinson’s by combating oxidative stress and inflammation in the brain.

Antimicrobial Properties: Caffeic acid has been shown to possess antimicrobial activity against a range of bacteria, fungi, and viruses, making it a subject of interest in the development of new antimicrobial agents.

Supporting Cardiovascular Health: Its antioxidant and anti-inflammatory effects can contribute to the maintenance of cardiovascular health, including protecting against atherosclerosis and lowering blood pressure.

Flavonoids :

Epigallocatechin Gallate Kefircoffee

Epigallocatechin gallate (EGCG) is a type of catechin and the most abundant and biologically active polyphenol found in green tea. It’s recognised for its potent antioxidant properties and has been the subject of extensive research due to its potential health benefits. EGCG is not exclusive to green tea; it can also be found in smaller amounts in other teas, fruits, and nuts, but green tea remains the richest source.

Antioxidant Activity: EGCG is known for its strong antioxidant capacity, significantly higher than that of vitamins C and E. By neutralising harmful free radicals, EGCG helps reduce oxidative stress in the body, which is linked to various chronic diseases, including cancer, cardiovascular diseases, and neurodegenerative disorders.

Anti-inflammatory Effects: It has been shown to reduce inflammation by modulating inflammatory pathways and cytokine production, which can help mitigate the risk and severity of inflammation-related conditions.

Cancer Prevention: EGCG has gained attention for its potential anticancer properties. It may inhibit tumor cell proliferation, induce apoptosis in cancer cells, and interfere with several signaling pathways involved in cancer progression.

Cardiovascular Health: Research suggests that EGCG can improve heart health by reducing blood pressure, lowering cholesterol levels, and preventing the oxidation of LDL cholesterol, a key factor in the development of atherosclerosis.

Weight Management: Studies have indicated that EGCG may assist in weight loss and weight management by enhancing fat oxidation and thermogenesis, as well as by modulating enzymes and pathways involved in metabolism.

Neuroprotection: EGCG has shown potential in protecting against neurodegenerative diseases such as Alzheimer’s and Parkinson’s by reducing oxidative stress and inflammation in the brain, and by modulating pathways critical for neuron function and survival.

Antimicrobial Properties: It exhibits antimicrobial activity against various bacteria, viruses, and fungi, suggesting its potential for treating infections and as a preservative in food products.

Quercetain 3 o rutinoside Kefircoffee

Quercetin-3-O-rutinoside and Quercetin-3-O-glucoside are two glycosidic forms of quercetin, a flavonoid widely present in the plant kingdom. Quercetin itself is known for its potent antioxidant, anti-inflammatory, and anticancer properties. The addition of sugar molecules (rutinose in Quercetin-3-O-rutinoside and glucose in Quercetin-3-O-glucoside) affects the solubility, bioavailability, and biological activity of these compounds compared to their aglycone form, quercetin.

Source and Bioavailability: Rutin is found in a variety of plants and foods, including buckwheat, asparagus, citrus fruits, and tea. The presence of the rutinose sugar makes rutin more water-soluble than quercetin, which can influence its absorption and metabolism in the human body.

Vascular Health: Rutin is particularly noted for its vascular protective effects. It strengthens capillaries, reduces capillary permeability, and helps in managing blood pressure, making it beneficial for cardiovascular health.

Antioxidant Activity: Like quercetin, rutin is a strong antioxidant. It helps in neutralising free radicals and reducing oxidative stress, thereby protecting cells from damage.

Anti-inflammatory: It exhibits anti-inflammatory properties by modulating various inflammatory pathways and cytokine production.

Neuroprotection: Rutin has shown potential in protecting against neurodegenerative diseases by reducing oxidative stress and inflammation in the brain.

Quercetin-3-O-glucoside (Isoquercitrin)

Source and Bioavailability: Isoquercitrin is present in many fruits, vegetables, and herbs. The glucose molecule in isoquercitrin enhances its water solubility compared to quercetin, potentially improving its bioavailability.

Antioxidant and Anti-inflammatory: Isoquercitrin shares the antioxidant and anti-inflammatory properties of quercetin, helping to mitigate oxidative stress and inflammation.

Cancer Prevention: There is interest in isoquercitrin’s potential to inhibit the proliferation of cancer cells and to induce apoptosis, similar to other forms of quercetin.

Metabolic Health: It may have beneficial effects on metabolic health, including glucose metabolism and lipid profiles, contributing to the prevention of metabolic syndrome and diabetes.

Kaempferol 3 O glucoside Kefircoffee

Kaempferol-3-O-glucoside, also known as astragalin, is a glycosylated form of kaempferol, a flavonoid found in a variety of plants, including fruits, vegetables, and herbs. The addition of a glucose molecule to kaempferol to form kaempferol-3-O-glucoside affects its solubility, bioavailability, and possibly its biological activity. Kaempferol and its derivatives are known for their potent antioxidant, anti-inflammatory, and anticancer properties, contributing to the health benefits associated with a diet rich in plant-based foods.

Antioxidant Activity: Astragalin is a potent antioxidant that helps neutralise free radicals, thereby reducing oxidative stress and preventing cellular damage. This action is crucial for reducing the risk of chronic diseases such as cardiovascular diseases and cancer.

Anti-inflammatory: It exhibits significant anti-inflammatory effects by modulating the production of inflammatory cytokines and inhibiting the activation of inflammatory pathways. This can help in managing inflammation-related conditions, including arthritis and cardiovascular diseases.

Anticancer Properties: Like many flavonoids, kaempferol-3-O-glucoside has been studied for its potential anticancer effects. It may inhibit the proliferation of cancer cells and induce apoptosis (programmed cell death), contributing to cancer prevention and treatment strategies.

Cardiovascular Health: Astragalin may contribute to cardiovascular health by improving endothelial function, reducing the risk of atherosclerosis, and potentially lowering blood pressure. Its antioxidant and anti-inflammatory properties play a role in these benefits.

Neuroprotective Effects: There is growing interest in the neuroprotective effects of kaempferol-3-O-glucoside, including its potential to protect against neurodegenerative diseases like Alzheimer’s disease through antioxidant and anti-inflammatory mechanisms.

Research on kaempferol-3-O-glucoside continues to explore its health benefits, mechanisms of action, and potential therapeutic applications. It is of particular interest in the development of dietary supplements and functional foods aimed at exploiting its antioxidant, anti-inflammatory, and anticancer properties.

The Kefircoffee™ process, which integrates kefir fermentation into the preparation of coffee beans, significantly alters and can enhance the flavour profile of green coffee beans. This enhancement is largely due to the utilisation of unused sugars left in the beans after the initial fermentation stage that naturally occurs post-harvesting in coffee processing methods. Lets look at how this process works and its impact on flavour:

Initial Fermentation in Coffee Processing:

After harvesting, coffee beans undergo a natural fermentation process, particularly if the wet processing method is used. During this stage, naturally occurring yeasts and bacteria break down the mucilage (the pulpy substance surrounding the beans) which can start to impact the flavour of the beans. However, not all sugars in the mucilage are consumed during this initial fermentation; some residual sugars remain in or on the beans.

Introduction of Kefir Fermentation:

The Kefircoffee™ process takes these partially fermented, washed, and dried green coffee beans and introduces a secondary fermentation phase using the Kefircoffee™ process. Kefir grains consist of a complex symbiotic matrix of yeasts and bacteria capable of metabolising sugars to produce a range of metabolites, including organic acids.

Utilisation of Unused Sugars:

During the Kefircoffee™ fermentation:

  1. Metabolic Action: The kefir cultures metabolise the unused sugars left on the green coffee beans from the initial fermentation. This secondary fermentation allows for a deeper, more complex biochemical transformation compared to the initial fermentation alone.
  2. Flavour Development: The metabolism of these sugars by kefir cultures not only utilises these residual resources but also produces new flavour compounds. For example, lactic acid and other organic acids generated during kefir fermentation can impart subtle sourness and complexity to the coffee. Ethanol, produced in small quantities, can contribute to the development of fruity flavours.
  3. Enhanced Complexity: Besides producing specific flavour compounds, the kefir fermentation can also modify or enhance existing flavour precursors in the coffee beans. This can lead to the development of a more nuanced flavour profile, with increased depth and complexity.

Impact on the Flavour Profile:

The result of the Kefircoffee™ process is a coffee bean that has undergone a unique fermentation, leading to several notable impacts on its flavour profile:

Increased Flavour Diversity: The biochemical transformations during kefir fermentation can introduce new flavours not typically associated with coffee or enhance traditional flavours, making the coffee more appealing and complex.

Improved Taste Balance: The organic acids produced can help balance the inherent bitterness of coffee, making for a smoother cup with pleasant acidity.

Unique Aromatic Compounds: Fermentation also increases the development of aromatic compounds, contributing to a more aromatic and sensorial engaging coffee experience.

 

Cup of Kefircoffee