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Green technology to obtain antioxidants from coffee waste

cafe Medianet



A research team from the University of Córdoba has achieved substances that enhance the antioxidant benefits of food and pharmaceutical products from remnants of the coffee industry.

In a process where the so-called ‘green’ solvents apply, los expertos desarrollan un método más rápido y eficiente para la extracción de estos componentes.

The research group seeks to give value to coffee waste by recovering these healthy substances and minimizing the generation of waste.

Thus, in a study published by the magazine Separation and Purification Technology, the researchers show that solvents called supramolecular, allow to obtain extracts rich in value-added compounds for other industries from food waste at a low cost and quickly.

Supramolecular solvents (SUPRAS) are liquids with a tiny internal structure, formed by aggregates the size of microns or nanometers, a diameter one thousand times smaller than the thickness of a hair.

Their synthesis is very simple and inexpensive, they have low toxicity and are sustainable, since they can be obtained from renewable sources. Ingredients that are widely used in food and cosmetics are used to facilitate their use in these industries.

The supramolecular term was coined by this research team and is now used by the entire scientific community. “They are also known as 'green' or 'smart' solvents since, in addition, they have the ability to modify in the presence of an external stimulus, such as temperature or the addition of salts, and return to their natural state once It recovers its initial characteristics.

This allows them to be very functional and versatile, ”says the researcher of the University of Córdoba Ana Ballesteros, co-author of the article.

In addition, the extracts obtained from the coffee residues showed a high antioxidant capacity and antimicrobial effects suitable for use as supplements in food and cosmetics.

“The extraction with SUPRAS offers fast, simple and low-cost methods and has a high potential to be applied directly to the extraction of bioactive by-products from the food industry, como es el caso del café”, añade la investigadora.

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