Rapid approach to identify the presence of Arabica and Robusta species in coffee using 1H NMR spectroscopy

Food Chem. 2015 Sep 1;182:178-84. doi: 10.1016/j.foodchem.2015.02.132. Epub 2015 Mar 5.


NMR spectroscopy was used to verify the presence of Arabica and Robusta species in coffee. Lipophilic extracts of authentic roasted and green coffees showed the presence of established markers for Robusta (16-O-methylcafestol (16-OMC)) and for Arabica (kahweol). The integration of the 16-OMC signal (δ 3.165 ppm) was used to estimate the amount of Robusta in coffee blends with an approximate limit of detection of 1-3%. The method was successfully applied for the analysis of 77 commercial coffee samples (coffee pods, coffee capsules, and coffee beans). Furthermore, principal component analysis (PCA) was applied to the spectra of lipophilic and aqueous extracts of 20 monovarietal authentic samples. Clusters of the two species were observed. NMR spectroscopy can be used as a rapid prescreening tool to discriminate Arabica and Robusta coffee species before the confirmation applying the official method.

Keywords: Arabica; Coffee; NMR spectroscopy; PCA; Robusta.

Publication types

  • Research Support, Non-U.S. Gov't

MeSH terms

  • Coffea / chemistry*
  • Coffea / classification
  • Diterpenes / analysis*
  • Food Analysis
  • Principal Component Analysis
  • Proton Magnetic Resonance Spectroscopy
  • Seeds / chemistry*
  • Seeds / classification
  • Water / analysis


  • 16-O-methylcafestol
  • Diterpenes
  • Water
  • kahweol