MELBOURNE: Did you know that the ubiquitous coffee is also a good antioxidant that kills damaging free radicals in our body?
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Researchers from Monash University in Australia, in collaboration with Italian coffee roasting company 'Illycaffè', have conducted a comprehensive study on how free radicals and antioxidants behave during every stage of the coffee-brewing process, from intact bean to coffee brew.
"Our research studied both the Arabica coffee bean itself and what happens to its stable free radical and antioxidant properties during the brewing process," said lead researcher Gordon Troup from Monash University.
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"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," Troup added.
The team observed the behaviour of free radicals - unstable molecules that seek electrons for stability and are known to cause cellular and DNA damage in the human body - in the coffee brewing process.
Troup was one of the first scientists to discover free radicals in coffee in 1988.
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"The most important aim of this research was to better understand the development of stable free radicals during the roasting process. We also wanted to evidence possible coffee constituents as a source of antioxidant activity," said chief chemist of Illycaffè, Luciano Navarini.
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