Most often, we do not even think about what we eat and drink - I mean, of course, the chemical composition of foods and drinks, and not their consumer properties. But sometimes you still want to know about what is your favorite food or drink. For example, coffee, the composition of which in two words can not be described. That is why we will dedicate to him a whole article in which we will describe in detail about the components of coffee substances and even chemical elements. Although, in fairness, I note that for a detailed description of all the compounds included in the coffee, and even more so - their interaction would need a whole book.
The chemical composition of coffee
It is rather complicated. The composition of coffee includes a huge number of different chemical compounds, and new ones are added in the process of roasting coffee beans. The total amount of various substances contained in coffee reaches several hundred. In the same roasted coffee and about a thousand chemical compounds, of which eight hundred are responsible for its taste and smell. Of the extractive (secreted) substances that make up virtually any type of coffee, we can mention such groupsas proteins, alkaloids, mono- and dysaccharosis, phenolic compounds, lipids, amino acids, organic acids, mineral elements and some other chemical compounds that are found in coffee in extremely small quantities.
The chemical composition of coffee - proteins and carbohydrates
As for proteins, there are not so many of them in coffee - a maximum of 9-10%, most of which is the so-called amine nitrogen (about 1.5%), that is, nitrogen, which is part of the amino acids contained in coffee. There are much more carbohydrates in coffee: up to 50 and sometimes even up to 60% in raw coffee beans. Of the carbohydrates contained in coffee, the most sucrose and cellulose are on average 8 and 8.5%, respectively. Also, lignin and cellulose (the so-called high-molecular polysaccharides) and pectin carbohydrates are present in coffee in slightly smaller quantities. Some of the high molecular weight polysaccharides have a high degree of solubility in water, and above all - arabinogalactan, a substance that is found in large quantities in various deciduous tree species. Arabinogalactan, by the way, has a beneficial effect on the intestinal microflora and helps in protecting the body's immune system.Also from the coffee beans in the process of interaction with water such substances as mannose, galactose, arabinnoza and glucogalactomannan are released. Fructose and glucose are also found in coffee in small quantities, although until recently it was thought that they were not there. Reducing saccharides - a group to which fructose and glucose belong, depending on the type of coffee, are contained in it in amounts from 0.5 to 1%. Now let's talk about some of the most important substances of coffee, the composition of which, as you have already noticed, is incredibly complex.
The chemical composition of coffee - tannin
Tannin or, as it is often called, tannin is a substance whose main function is the binding of other substances - in particular, proteins and polysaccharides. That is why it is so important to keep tannin in those drinks and products in which it is contained, because its destruction can lead to the disintegration of many other valuable compounds. Interestingly, the chemical composition of tannin (in terms of its constituent elements) is the same as that of water - it consists of oxygen and hydrogen, but the structure of the molecule and the quantitative content of these elements are, of course, completely different.In raw grains, tannin can be quite a large percentage - up to 7.7%. However, during roasting, a large amount of this valuable substance decomposes or oxidizes, and in the already prepared coffee the tannin content is no more than 1%. Nevertheless, it is precisely due to the decomposition of tannin that coffee acquires that unforgettable aroma and taste, for which its true admirers so appreciate. Therefore, from the point of view of acquiring the necessary taste, tannin cleavage is a necessary process.
The chemical composition of coffee - caffeine
Almost everyone knows about the presence of this component in coffee. By the way, he got his name thanks to this drink. The chemical formula of caffeine: C8H10N4O2, that is, it consists, like many other organic substances, from atoms of carbon, hydrogen, nitrogen and oxygen. The molecular structure of caffeine is as follows: carbon and nitrogen atoms are located in the center, three hydrogen atoms are attached to the three extreme carbon atoms, and another is attached to the carbon atom that is connected to two nitrogen atoms. The atoms of oxygen are connected to two other linked carbon atoms and are located, like hydrogen, at the ends of the structure.Caffeine has other names: guaranine, matein, theine, as well as 1-3-7-trimethylxanthine and 2-6-dioxy-1-3-7-trimethylpurine. We will not go into the chemical topic anymore, but let's talk about the properties of caffeine and the peculiarities of its content in coffee.
Interesting facts about caffeine
Caffeine has no odor or color, and when dissolved in water gives the drink a bitter taste. It is by bitterness that the taste of the brewed coffee can be explained. Caffeine melts at a temperature of 236 degrees Celsius, and if it is subjected to gradual heating, it can even be sublimated, that is, it can be transferred from a solid to a gaseous one without becoming liquid. In various grades of coffee, caffeine can have a different degree of content - from 0.6 to 3%. In addition to coffee beans, caffeine is found in large quantities in tea and coca leaves, as well as mate and guarana. With regard to the medical properties of caffeine, it is known that it excites brain receptors, increasing motor activity and improving the response. That is why many cyclists (and in cycling, caffeine consumption has recently been allowed again) use caffeine bars, which greatly improve their physical condition, right during the race.
The chemical composition of instant coffee
Here we must say that instant coffee in its own chemical composition, of course, is very different from the natural. The fact is that to improve the taste, as well as the color and smell of instant coffee, almost all manufacturers use different chemical additives. However, there is also high-quality instant coffee, which does not include any additives. The process of its manufacture is as follows: in this case, the coffee extract is simply dried and then packed. This instant coffee is called organic, because its composition is no different from natural (excluding amendments to the effects of water and heat).
There is also instant coffee with zero caffeine content, but in this case, instead of caffeine, it contains carbonic acid. As for the overwhelming majority of sorts of instant coffee, the natural substances present in coffee initially make up no more than 20% in these drinks. And the remaining 80% are all kinds of additives: flavors, stabilizers, coloring agents and preservatives. That is why natural coffee - beans or ground has always been and remains better than any instant.If we choose instant coffee, then at least organic, which contains the minimum amount of any such substances that are not too beneficial for our body.