Estimation of dietary intake of melanoidins from coffee and bread

Food Funct. 2011 Feb;2(2):117-23. doi: 10.1039/c0fo00156b. Epub 2011 Jan 14.


Melanoidins are defined as polymeric high molecular weight, brown-coloured Maillard reaction end-products, containing nitrogen. They escape digestion and pass through the upper gastrointestinal tract and can interact with the different microbial species present in the colon. Major dietary sources of melanoidins are coffee and bread crust. Both coffee and bread crust melanoidins can be fermented by the human hindgut microflora thus sharing some of the properties attributed to dietary fibre. Despite the emerging positive physiological properties of such dietary constituents their intake has not been estimated yet. To this aim melanoidin content in different type of coffee brews, bread and dry biscuits was determined by sequential ultrafiltration and enzymatic digestion. Despite some drawbacks and limiting steps in the calculation, such as the lack of a reference material, an educated guess on the dietary intake of melanoidins has been put forward. Data indicated that the intake of coffee melanoidins ranged between 0.5 to 2.0 g per day for moderate and heavy consumers, respectively. For bread and dry biscuits an intake in the ranges of 1.8-15.0 and 3.2-8.5 g per day has been calculated. These figures suggest that a realistic estimation of melanoidins dietary intake for general population would be close to 10 g per day considering all the possible alimentary sources.

Publication types

  • Research Support, Non-U.S. Gov't

MeSH terms

  • Bread / analysis*
  • Coffee / chemistry*
  • Dietary Fiber / metabolism
  • Eating*
  • Fermentation
  • Global Health
  • Humans
  • Maillard Reaction
  • Metagenome
  • Nutrition Surveys*
  • Polymers / analysis*
  • Polymers / chemistry
  • Polymers / metabolism


  • Coffee
  • Dietary Fiber
  • Polymers
  • melanoidin polymers