London: You love green tea for its health benefits but what about having a cup of "green coffee"?
Well, US scientists have come up with a new invention - parbaked coffee bean where coffee beans are baked at less temperature for super health benefits.
According to biophysicist Dan Perlman from Massachusetts-based Brandeis University, this method of roasting green coffee beans enhances the health benefits of coffee.
Perlman is currently developing the flour milled from parbaked beans both as a food ingredient and a nutritional supplement.
"It is a world of difference from the traditional coffee bean," Perlman said.
Research has shown that drinking coffee is good for you. A recent Harvard University study found that people who drank three to five cups a day had a 15 percent lower chance of prematurely dying than non-drinkers.
One leading explanation involves a natural chemical compound called chlorogenic acid (CGA).
An antioxidant, CGA is thought to be beneficial in modulating sugar metabolism, controlling blood pressure and possibly treating heart disease and cancer.
Unfortunately, when coffee is roasted the traditional way -- typically above 200 degrees Celsius for 10 to 15 minutes -- the CGA content drops dramatically.
Perlman wondered what would happen if the coffee bean was baked for less time and at a lower temperature.
This took some trial and error until he got it right. In the end, he determined that parbaking the beans at 200 degrees Celsius at approximately 10 minutes worked best.
The concentration of CGA in the bean, around 10 percent of the bean's weight, barely dropped.
Perlman cryogenically mills the bean in an ultra-cold and chemically inert liquid nitrogen atmosphere to protect the bean's beneficial constituents from oxidation.
At the end of the process, you get a wheat-coloured flour. Its taste is nutty, pleasant and mild.
Perlman sees his coffee flour being blended with regular flours for baking, used in breakfast cereals and snack bars and added to soups, juices and nutritional drinks.
"To compensate for the CGA lost during traditional coffee roasting, it would be possible to blend par-baked beans with regularly roasted ones," he noted.
According to Perlman, parbaking is far less expensive than the extraction methods used to produce the green coffee bean extract supplements currently on the market.
The roasting and milling of the beans during Perlman's experimentation process was done with the support of New England Coffee located in Malden, Massachusetts.
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