From parbaked coffee beans, scientists are developing a new invention – as a food ingredient and a nutritional supplement – from its milled flour.
Research has shown that drinking coffee is good for you. A recent Harvard study found that people who drank three to five cups a day had a 15 percent lower chance of prematurely dying than non-drinkers.
Nobody knows for certain what causes coffee to be salutary, but one leading explanation involves a natural chemical compound called chlorogenic acid (CGA). An antioxidant, CGA is thought to be beneficial in modulating sugar metabolism, controlling blood pressure and possibly treating heart disease and cancer.
Unfortunately, when coffee is roasted the traditional way – typically above 400 degrees Fahrenheit for 10 to 15 minutes – the CGA content drops dramatically. One study found the decrease ranged from 50 to nearly 100 percent.
Biophysicist Dan Perlman determined that parbaking the beans at 300 degrees at approximately ten minutes kept the concentration of CGA in the bean, around 10 percent of the bean’s weight, barely dropped.
There are green coffee bean extract-based nutritional supplements already on the market, but there is scant research to support these claims. The scientific evidence that illustrates CGA’s benefits for other conditions is much stronger. Perlman also says parbaking is far less expensive than the extraction methods used to produce the green coffee bean extract supplements currently on the market.
Coffee Flour Uses
The parbaked coffee bean can’t be used to make coffee because it isn’t roasted long enough to develop flavor. Instead Perlman cryogenically mills the bean in an ultra-cold and chemically inert liquid nitrogen atmosphere to protect the bean’s beneficial constituents from oxidation, and results in a wheat-colored flour.
Its taste is nutty, pleasant and mild. You might just see the new invention of coffee flour being blended with regular flours for baking, used in breakfast cereals and snack bars and added to soups, juices and nutritional drinks in the near future!
Brandeis University. “Coffee flour offers a potentially healthier way of enjoying java.” ScienceDaily. ScienceDaily, 7 January 2016. <www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2016/01/160107140643.htm>.