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Improvement of Robusta coffee aroma by treated spent coffee grounds

 

Spent coffee grounds (SCG) are by-products obtained from the industrial process of instant coffee production or alternatively after brewing of coffee at the point of consumption. This solid residue represents one of the largest waste materials worldwide, making this fraction a rational target for valorization. The composition of SCG varies significantly depending on the brewing and extraction methods. However, this by-product is mainly composed of cellulose, hemicellulose polysaccharides and lipids. 

Swiss Researchers reported in Food Research International journal on the enzymatic hydrolysis of industrial SCG by the use of a combination of specific carbohydrate active enzymes, enabling sugar extraction yield of 74.3 %. The generated sugar-rich extract, primarily composed of glucose (8.41 ±1.00 % of total SCG mass) and mannose (2.88 ±0.25 % of total SCG mass), is separated from hydrolyzed grounds and soaked with green coffee. After drying and roasting, the coffee soaked with SCG enzymatic extract displayed lower earthy, burnt and rubbery notes as well as smoother and more acidic notes in the flavor profile as compared to untreated reference. Aroma profiling performed by SPME-GC-MS corroborated the sensorial effect, with a 2-fold increase in the generation of sugar-derived molecules such as Strecker aldehydes and diketones after soaking and roasting and a 45 % and respectively 37 % reduction in phenolic compounds and pyrazines. 

This novel technology could represent an innovative in situ valorization stream for the coffee industry, coupled with sensory improvement of the final cup. 

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