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Extraction and Quantification of Diterpenes from Green Coffee Oil

The extraction of certain food ingredients is important in order to quantify the content and in order to test contained substances towards their biological activity. The usual method for such applications has been the Soxhlet extraction. However, nowadays, microwave-assisted extraction techniques gain more and more interest, since they show significant improvements in terms of efficiency and convenience.

Besides glycerides, phospholipids, sterols, tocopherols and waxes, the oil of green coffee Coffea arabica L. contains the naturally occurring diterpenes cafestol and kahweol.
Both diterpenes show biological activity. On the one hand, the activity is desirable, like e.g. anticarcinogenic, but also unwanted effects can be seen, like e.g. the increase of low-density lipoprotein.

In order to quantify the amount of present diterpenes in Coffea arabica L., first the green coffee oil has to be extracted from the fruits, and furthermore alkaline treatment in methanol is necessary, since the diterpenes naturally occur as esters which have to be saponified prior to the analysis.
This report highlights the effectiveness of microwave assistance for the extraction as well as for the methanolysis of cafestol and kahweol from Coffea arabica L.

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