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Hoffmann, R. A wiki for the life sciences where authorship matters. Nature Genetics (2008)

Alkylpyridiniums. 2. Isolation and quantification in roasted and ground coffees.

Recent model studies on trigonelline decomposition have identified nonvolatile alkylpyridiniums as major reaction products under certain physicochemical conditions. The quaternary base 1-methylpyridinium was isolated from roasted and ground coffee and purified by ion exchange and thin-layer chromatography. The compound was characterized by nuclear magnetic resonance spectroscopy ((1)H, (13)C) and mass spectrometry techniques. A liquid chromatography-electrospray ionization tandem mass spectrometry method was developed to quantify the alkaloid in coffee by isotope dilution mass spectrometry. The formation of alkylpyridiniums is positively correlated to the roasting degree in arabica coffee, and highest levels of 1-methylpyridinium, reaching up to 0.25% on a per weight basis, were found in dark roasted coffee beans. Analyses of coffee extracts also showed the presence of dimethylpyridinium, at concentrations ranging from 5 to 25 mg/kg. This is the first report on the isolation and quantification of alkylpyridiniums in coffee. These compounds, described here in detail for the first time, may have an impact on the flavor/aroma profile of coffee directly (e.g., bitterness), or indirectly as precursors, and potentially open new avenues in the flavor/aroma modulation of coffee.[1]


  1. Alkylpyridiniums. 2. Isolation and quantification in roasted and ground coffees. Stadler, R.H., Varga, N., Milo, C., Schilter, B., Vera, F.A., Welti, D.H. J. Agric. Food Chem. (2002) [Pubmed]
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