In vitro and ex vivo antihydroxyl radical activity of green and roasted coffee

J Agric Food Chem. 2004 Mar 24;52(6):1700-4. doi: 10.1021/jf030298n.


The specific antiradical activity against the hydroxyl radical of the water soluble components in green and dark roasted Coffea arabica and Coffea robusta coffee samples, both in vitro by the chemical deoxiribose assay and ex vivo in a biological cellular system (IMR32 cells), were determined. All the tested coffee solutions showed remarkable antiradical activity. In the deoxiribose assay, all the tested solutions showed similar inhibitory activity (IA%) against the sugar degradation (IA values ranged from 45.2 to 46.9%). In the cell cultures, the survival increase (SI%) ranged from 197.0 to 394.0% with C. robusta roasted coffee being significantly more active than the other samples. The coffee solutions underwent dialysis (3500 Da cutoff membrane) to fraction their components. In both systems, the dialysates (MW < 3500 Da) either from green or roasted coffee, showed antiradical activity, while the only retentates (MW > 3500 Da) from the roasted coffee samples were active. The preparative gel-filtration chromatography of roasted coffee C. robusta dialysate gave three fractions active in the biological system, all containing chlorogenic acid derivatives. The most active fraction was found to be that containing the 5-O-caffeoilquinic acid, which shows a linear relation dose-response ranging from 0.02 to 0.10 mM. The results show that both green and roasted coffee possess antiradical activity, that their more active component is 5-O-caffeoyl-quinic acid, and moreover that roasting process induces high MW components (later Maillard reaction products, i.e., melanoidins), also possessing antiradical activity in coffee. These results could explain the neuroprotective effects found for coffee consumption in recent epidemiological studies.

Publication types

  • Research Support, Non-U.S. Gov't

MeSH terms

  • Antioxidants / analysis*
  • Antioxidants / pharmacology
  • Caffeic Acids / analysis
  • Caffeic Acids / pharmacology
  • Chlorogenic Acid / analysis
  • Coffea / chemistry*
  • Hot Temperature*
  • Hydroxyl Radical / antagonists & inhibitors*
  • Polymers / chemistry
  • Seeds / chemistry*
  • Thiobarbituric Acid Reactive Substances / analysis


  • Antioxidants
  • Caffeic Acids
  • Polymers
  • Thiobarbituric Acid Reactive Substances
  • melanoidin polymers
  • Chlorogenic Acid
  • Hydroxyl Radical