Researchers recently conducted the most comprehensive study to date on how free radicals and antioxidants behave during every stage of coffees brewing process. These free radicals are unstable molecules that seek electrons for stability and are known to cause cellular and DNA damage in the human body.
Their findings published in PLOS ONE provide a better understanding of coffees potential health benefits as well as the brewing process.
Dr. Gordon Troup, School of Physics and Astronomy, was approached by Chief Chemist of Illycaff, Dr Luciano Navarini, for Troup and his team to conduct the research using state-of-the-art EPR (Electron Paramagnetic Resonance) Spectroscopy. Troup worked with a team of researchers including Monash alumnus Dr. Simon Drew from the University of Melbourne, who carried out the spectroscopy at the University of Melbourne. Troup was one of the first scientists to discover free radicals in coffee in 1988 and so it made sense for Illycaff - a coffee roasting company actively involved in coffee research - to collaborate with Troup and his team on this research into free radical and antioxidant behavior in coffee.
"The most important aim of this research was to better understand the development of stable free radicals during the roasting process and the possible influence exerted by developed radicals on the well-documented coffee antioxidant properties, Troup said. We also wanted to evidence possible coffee constituents as a source of antioxidant activity. Our research studied both the Arabica coffee bean itself and what happens to its stable free radical and antioxidant properties during the brewing process. The findings provide a better understanding of the potential health benefits of coffee, as well as a deeper knowledge of the roasting process - ultimately leading to the highest quality cup of coffee."