Determination of volatile marker compounds of common coffee roast defects

Food Chem. 2016 Nov 15;211:206-14. doi: 10.1016/j.foodchem.2016.04.124. Epub 2016 Apr 27.


Coffee beans from the same origin were roasted using six time-temperature profiles, in order to identify volatile aroma compounds associated with five common roast coffee defects (light, scorched, dark, baked and underdeveloped). Thirty-seven volatile aroma compounds were selected on the basis that they had previously been identified as potent odorants of coffee and were also identified in all coffee brew preparations; the relative abundance of these aroma compounds was then evaluated using gas chromatography mass spectrometry (GC-MS) with headspace solid phase micro extraction. Some of the 37 key aroma compounds were significantly changed in each coffee roast defect and changes in one marker compound was chosen for each defect type, that is, indole for light defect, 4-ethyl-2-methoxyphenol for scorched defect, phenol for dark defect, maltol for baked defect and 2,5-dimethylfuran for underdeveloped defect. The association of specific changes in aroma profiles for different roast defects has not been shown previously and could be incorporated into screening tools to enable the coffee industry quickly identify if roast defects occur during production.

Keywords: Aroma chemistry; Coffee; Coffee production; Quality control; Roast defects.

MeSH terms

  • Coffee / chemistry*
  • Food Analysis / methods*
  • Furans / analysis*
  • Gas Chromatography-Mass Spectrometry
  • Guaiacol / analysis*
  • Indoles / analysis
  • Phenol / analysis
  • Principal Component Analysis
  • Pyrones / analysis
  • Quality Control
  • Temperature
  • Volatile Organic Compounds / analysis*


  • Coffee
  • Furans
  • Indoles
  • Pyrones
  • Volatile Organic Compounds
  • Phenol
  • maltol
  • Guaiacol
  • indole
  • 2,5-dimethylfuran