Antimicrobial activity of coffee melanoidins-a study of their metal-chelating properties

J Agric Food Chem. 2009 Jan 28;57(2):432-8. doi: 10.1021/jf8027842.


Melanoidins comprise a substantial proportion of severely heat-treated foods such as baked cereals or roasted coffee and are widely consumed dietary components. The antimicrobial activity of coffee melanoidins against different pathogenic bacteria has been studied, finding that such activity is due to their metal-chelating properties. Three different mechanisms have been observed: at low concentrations melanoidins exerted a bacteriostatic activity mediated by iron chelation from the culture medium; in the case of bacterial strains that are able to produce siderophores for iron acquisition, melanoidins chelate the siderophore-Fe3+ complex, which could decrease the virulence of such pathogenic bacteria; and, finally, coffee melanoidins also exerted a bactericide activity at high concentrations by removing Mg2+ cations from the outer membrane, promoting the disruption of the cell membrane and allowing the release of intracellular molecules.

Publication types

  • Research Support, Non-U.S. Gov't

MeSH terms

  • Anti-Bacterial Agents / chemistry*
  • Anti-Bacterial Agents / pharmacology
  • Bacteria / chemistry
  • Bacteria / drug effects*
  • Chelating Agents / chemistry
  • Chelating Agents / pharmacology*
  • Coffee / chemistry*
  • Iron / chemistry*
  • Plant Extracts / chemistry
  • Plant Extracts / pharmacology
  • Polymers / chemistry*
  • Polymers / pharmacology
  • Siderophores / chemistry


  • Anti-Bacterial Agents
  • Chelating Agents
  • Coffee
  • Plant Extracts
  • Polymers
  • Siderophores
  • melanoidin polymers
  • Iron