The newly sequenced genome of the coffee plant reveals secrets about the evolution of man’s best chemical friend: caffeine.
The scientists who completed the project say the sequences and positions of genes in the coffee plant show that they evolved independently from genes with similar functions in tea and chocolate, which also make caffeine. In other words, coffee did not inherit caffeine-linked genes from a common ancestor, but instead developed the genes on its own.
New research from the Univ. of Bath’s Centre for Sustainable Chemical Technologies shows that waste coffee grinds could be used to make biodiesel.
Oil can be extracted from coffee grounds by soaking them in an organic solvent, before being chemically transformed into biodiesel via a process called “transesterification.” The study, recently published in the ACS Journal Energy & Fuels, looked at how the fuel properties varied depending on the type of coffee used.
A chemist at the Univ. of Bath has teamed up with the UK Barista Champion to find the best type of water for making coffee. Now, the pair are heading to the World Barista Championships in Italy, on June 8, to share their coffee chemistry knowledge with the rest of the world.
Christopher Hendon, a PhD student from the Univ. of Bath’s Centre for Sustainable Chemical Technologies, embarked on the project in his spare time with friend Maxwell Colonna-Dashwood, owner of Colonna and Small’s coffee shop in Bath, after a discussion about why the taste of coffee varies so much.
People around the world are drawn to coffee’s powerful allure — for its beloved smell, taste and for the caffeine boost it provides. As you enjoy your coffee beverage, however, odds are good you’re probably not thinking about the coffee bean roasting process behind it.
But for some the love of coffee runs so deep that they go so far as to roast their own coffee beans. Controlling the roast time and temperature profile allows them to dial in the range of roast levels from light to dark, which greatly affects the style, flavor and aroma of the resulting beverage.
This drove Preston Wilson, a coffee aficionado and acoustician who normally focuses on studying underwater acoustics in his role as an associate professor in The Univ. of Texas at Austin’s Cockrell School of Engineering, to explore the potential of using the “cracking” sounds emitted by coffee beans during the roasting process — as the basis for an automated acoustical roast monitoring technique.
The U.S. government is stepping up efforts to help Central American farmers fight a devastating coffee disease — and hold down the price of your morning cup.
At issue is a fungus called coffee rust that has caused more than $1 billion in damage across Latin American region. The fungus is especially deadly to Arabica coffee, the bean that makes up most high-end, specialty coffees. Already, it is affecting the price of some of those coffees in the U.S.
Coffee drinkers, rejoice! Aside from java’s energy jolt, food scientists say you may reap another health benefit from a daily cup of joe: prevention of deteriorating eyesight and possible blindness from retinal degeneration because of glaucoma, aging and diabetes.
Raw coffee is, on average, just 1 percent caffeine, but it contains 7 to 9 percent chlorogenic acid, a strong antioxidant that prevents retinal degeneration in mice, according to a Cornell study published in the Journal of Agricultural and Food Chemistry.
World Coffee Research, part of the Norman Borlaug Institute for International Agriculture at Texas A&M Univ., is hoping to shed new light on the origin of Yemeni coffee through a genetic diversity study in conjunction with Sana’a Univ.
Amin Al-Hakimi, a professor of plant breeding in the faculty of agriculture at Sana’a Univ. and a Fulbright visiting scholar at Texas A&M, along with others, is examining the genetic diversity of “exceptional landraces” of coffee from the Republic of Yemen, using a technique known as near infrared spectroscopy.
The proportion of land used to cultivate shade grown coffee, relative to the total land area of coffee cultivation, has fallen by nearly 20 percent globally since 1996, according to a new study by scientists from Univ. of Texas at Austin and five other institutions.
The study’s authors say the global shift toward a more intensive style of coffee farming is probably having a negative effect on the environment, communities and individual farmers.
New research reveals that consuming two or more cups of coffee each day reduces the risk of death from liver cirrhosis by 66 percent, specifically cirrhosis caused by non-viral hepatitis. Findings in Hepatology, a journal published by Wiley on behalf of the American Association for the Study of Liver Diseases, show that tea, fruit juice and soft drink consumption are not linked to cirrhosis mortality risk. As with previous studies heavy alcohol use was found to increase risk of death from cirrhosis.
A 2004 report from The World Health Organization (WHO) estimates that each year 1.3 percent of total death worldwide is caused by liver cirrhosis. Previous research shows that 29 million Europeans have chronic liver disease, with 17,000 deaths annually attributed to cirrhosis. Further WHO reports state that liver cirrhosis is the 11th leading cause of death in the U.S.
University of California students who drink coffee to get through the day will soon be able to study the science behind the beverage.
This week UC Davis will host a research conference run by its recently founded Coffee Center. The center is currently without a dedicated home, but the university hopes to formalize the research in coming years and eventually offer a major in coffee science, The Sacramento Bee reports.
Coffee consumption reduces risk of hepatocellular carcinoma (HCC), the most common type of liver cancer, by about 40 percent, according to an up-to-date meta-analysis published in Clinical Gastroenterology and Hepatology, the official clinical practice journal of the American Gastroenterological Association. Further, some data indicate that three cups of coffee per day reduce liver cancer risk by more than 50 percent.
"Our research confirms past claims that coffee is good for your health, and particularly the liver," says Carlo La Vecchia, study author from the department of epidemiology, Istituto di Ricerche Farmacologiche Mario Negri. "The favorable effect of coffee on liver cancer might be mediated by coffee’s proven prevention of diabetes, a known risk factor for the disease, or for its beneficial effects on cirrhosis and liver enzymes."
Four Cups of Coffee a Day May Keep Cancer Recurrence Away
Coffee consumption is associated with a lower risk of prostate cancer recurrence and progression, according to a new study by Fred Hutchinson Cancer Research Center scientists that is online ahead of print in Cancer Causes & Control.
Corresponding author Janet Stanford, co-director of the Program in Prostate Cancer Research in the Fred Hutch Public Health Sciences Division, conducted the study to determine whether the bioactive compounds in coffee and tea may prevent prostate cancer recurrence and delay progression of the disease.
The world’s most expensive coffee can cost $80 a cup, and scientists now are reporting development of the first way to verify authenticity of this crème de la crème, the beans of which come from the feces of a Southeast Asian animal called a palm civet. Their study appears in ACS’ Journal of Agricultural and Food Chemistry.
Drinking several cups of coffee daily appears to reduce the risk of suicide in men and women by about 50 percent, according to a new study by researchers at the Harvard School of Public Health (HSPH). The study was published online in The World Journal of Biological Psychiatry.
“Unlike previous investigations, we were able to assess association of consumption of caffeinated and non-caffeinated beverages, and we identify caffeine as the most likely candidate of any putative protective effect of coffee,” says lead researcher Michel Lucas, research fellow in the Department of Nutrition at HSPH.
High above our planet in the realm of satellites and space stations, the familiar rules of Earth do not apply. The midday sky is as black as night. There is no up and no down. Dropped objects do not fall, and hot air does not rise.
Of all the strange things that happen up there, however, it is possible that the strangest happens to coffee. Physics professor Mark Weislogel of Portland State Univ. has given a lot of thought to coffee (and other fluids) in space, and he describes what happens.