Low Molecular Weight Melanoidins in Coffee Brew

E.K. Bekedam, E. Roos, H.A. Schols, M.A.J.S. van Boekel, G. Smit

Research output: Contribution to journalArticleAcademicpeer-review

59 Citations (Scopus)


Analysis of low molecular weight (LMw) coffee brew melanoidins is challenging due to the presence of many non-melanoidin components that complicate analysis. This study focused on the isolation of LMw coffee brew melanoidins by separation of melanoidins from non-melanoidin components that are present in LMw coffee brew material. LMw coffee fractions differing in polarity were obtained by reversed-phase solid phase extraction and their melanoidin, sugar, nitrogen, caffeine, trigonelline, 5-caffeoylquinic acid, quinic acid, caffeic acid, and phenolic groups contents were determined. The sugar composition, the charge properties, and the absorbance at various wavelengths were investigated as well. The majority of the LMw melanoidins were found to have an apolar character, whereas most non-melanoidins have a polar character. The three isolated melanoidin-rich fractions represented 56% of the LMw coffee melanoidins and were free from non-melanoidin components. Spectroscopic analysis revealed that the melanoidins isolated showed similar features as high molecular weight coffee melanoidins. All three melanoidin fractions contained ~3% nitrogen, indicating the presence of incorporated amino acids or proteins. Surprisingly, glucose was the main sugar present in these melanoidins, and it was reasoned that sucrose is the most likely source for this glucose within the melanoidin structure. It was also found that LMw melanoidins exposed a negative charge, and this negative charge was inversely proportional to the apolar character of the melanoidins. Phenolic group levels as high as 47% were found, which could be explained by the incorporation of chlorogenic acids in these melanoidins
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)4060-4067
JournalJournal of Agricultural and Food Chemistry
Issue number11
Publication statusPublished - 2008


  • maillard reaction-products
  • chemical-characterization
  • antioxidant activity
  • colored compounds
  • roasted coffee
  • arabica beans
  • model systems
  • polysaccharides
  • xylose
  • lysine


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