Coffee by-product may be used a potential ingredient in bakery products

Spent coffee grounds (SCG) are a by-product (45%) of coffee beverage preparation and instant coffee manufacturing.  Currently it is reported that SCG could be used in several applications including biofuels, composts, animal feed, biosorbents and enzymes.

A study published in the journal Food Chemistry has investigated whether SCG could be used as a food ingredient in bakery products, as a source of antioxidant dietary fibre. Del Castillo et al. investigated whether the by-product could be used to produce biscuits with high nutritional and sensory quality and potentially help to reduce the risk of chronic diseases including obesity and diabetes.  The team also investigated the safety of using SCG as a food ingredient, noting that the maillard reaction can produce health promoting effects as well as potentially harmful effects including acrylamide and furan.

The team from the Spain produced 6 free sugar biscuits prepared with wheat flours and sunflower oils, with sucrose being replaced by stevia and/or malitol, and SGC added in amounts ranging from 3.5% to 4.4% in order to achieve the nutritional claim “source of fibre” or “high fibre content”. Del Castillo et al. purchased three commercial biscuits, two of which were used in the sensory analysis (involving 26 untrained panellists, who rated the 6 biscuits for colour, texture, taste and overall acceptance) as they contain a similar composition to the SCG biscuits, the third was used as “a control of the average formation of potential harmful compounds during food processing.”  Using the biscuit named in the study as B2 (containing 4.24g of SCG, and used due to its high nutritional and sensorial quality), and the commercial control biscuit, the scientists evaluated proteins, soluble free amino acids, fructosamine, advanced glycation end products, and also microbiological quality and food processing contaminants. Data was also collected on physiochemical characterisation (including moisture, total protein, dietary fibre, total phenolic, overall antioxidant capacity), and thermal stability.

The Researchers. report that SCG from the instant coffee process was “found to be a natural source of antioxidant insoluble dietary fibre, essential amino acids with low glycaemic sugar, resistant to thermal food processing condition and digestion process and totally safe. Therefore, SCG could be incorporated as food ingredients in bakery products for human consumption.”  Regarding acceptability, the panellists rated the innovative biscuits containing oligofructose as not being significantly different to the commercial biscuits.  The scientists also report that the three biscuits containing SCG at levels of 4.24 g, 3.64 g and 3.5 g, might be included inside the “high fibre” nutritional claim.

In conclusion, the scientist state “SCG (4% w/w) can be used directly as a food ingredient in solid food as biscuits without affecting the conventional food preparation and final quality of the product.  These food formulations might be destined to people with reduced energetic intake and particular requirements.”



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