While coffee is already loved by scores of people across the world, coffee lovers have now got another reason to celebrate their love for coffee! According to a recent study, published in the journal Food and Chemical Toxicology, unused coffee bean extracts may help cut fat-induced inflammation in the cells and could also improve insulin sensitivity and glucose absorption in the body. Food science and human nutrition researchers at the University of Illinois have discovered inflammation-fighting phenolic compounds -- protocatechuic acid and gallic acid -- in the silverskin and husk of coffee beans not only for their benefits in alleviating chronic disease but also in adding value to would-be 'waste' products from the coffee processing industry.
When coffee beans are processed and roasted, the husk and silverskin of the bean are removed and unused, and often are left behind in fields by coffee producers.
"This material from coffee beans is interesting mainly because of its composition. It's been shown to be non-toxic. And these phenolics have a very high anti-oxidant capacity," said Elvira Gonzalez de Mejia, Professor of food science and co-author of the study published in Food and Chemical Toxicology.
For the study, the researchers treated the fat cells of mice with water-based extracts from coffee beans skins. As per the findings of the study, the phenolic compounds reduced fat-induced inflammation in the cells. When consumed as part of the diet, the findings also show promise for these bioactive compounds as a strategy for preventing obesity-related chronic illnesses, such as cardiovascular disease and Type-2 diabetes. Other than this, the researchers of the study also emphasised on the positive impact on the environment of using the by-products of coffee beans.
"It's a huge environmental problem because when they separate this husk after processing, it usually stays in the field fermenting, growing mold, and causing problems," explained de Mejia.
Worldwide, 1,160,000 tonnes of husk are left in fields per year, potentially causing contamination. Additionally, 43,000 tonnes of silverskin is produced each year, which, de Mejia adds, may be easier to utilize because it stays with the bean as it is exported to different countries to be roasted.