Chemical characterization and antioxidant properties of coffee melanoidins

Rosa Cinzia Borrelli, Attilio Visconti, Carmela Mennella, Monica Anese, Vincenzo Fogliano*

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticleAcademicpeer-review

290 Citations (Scopus)


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.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)6527-6533
Number of pages7
JournalJournal of Agricultural and Food Chemistry
Issue number22
Publication statusPublished - 20 Sep 2002
Externally publishedYes


  • Antioxidant activity
  • Coffee
  • Maillard reaction
  • Melanoidins

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