Coffee: Production, Quality and Chemistry
CHAPTER 28: Bioactive Amines
Published:11 Jan 2019
Among chemical components present in coffee, bioactive amines play important roles in coffee quality, safety, and human health. Several amines are found in green coffee: putrescine and serotonin are the major amines, followed by melatonin, spermidine, and spermine. Tyramine is present at higher concentrations in green coffee beans of Coffea canephora species, and putrescine is present at higher concentrations in beans of Coffea arabica species, and therefore could help discriminate between both species. Histamine is present in low cup quality or defective beans and could be a quality criterion for green coffee. Roasting significantly reduces the concentrations of most amines in coffee. However, serotonin, melatonin, and spermidine are the most resistant to roasting and serotonin and agmatine can be thermally produced from precursors. Despite the degradation of several amines during roasting, commercial roasted beans and their respective beverages contain amines, including cadaverine, tyramine, phenylethylamine, and histamine. High concentrations of putrescine and cadaverine are not desired as they can affect acceptability in a negative way. Human health aspects associated with amines will be discussed in the book Coffee: Consumption and Health Implications.