Chemical Characterization of Potentially Prebiotic Oligosaccharides in Brewed Coffee and Spent Coffee Grounds

Tian Tian, Samara Freeman, Mark Corey, J. Bruce German, Daniela Barile

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

18 Scopus citations


Oligosaccharides are indigestible carbohydrates widely present in mammalian milk and in some plants. Milk oligosaccharides are associated with positive health outcomes; however, oligosaccharides in coffee have not been extensively studied. We investigated the oligosaccharides and their monomeric composition in dark roasted coffee beans, brewed coffee, and spent coffee grounds. Oligosaccharides with a degree of polymerization ranging from 3 to 15, and their constituent monosaccharides, were characterized and quantified. The oligosaccharides identified were mainly hexoses (potentially galacto-oligosaccharides and manno-oligosaccharides) containing a heterogeneous mixture of glucose, arabinose, xylose, and rhamnose. The diversity of oligosaccharides composition found in these coffee samples suggests that they could have selective prebiotic activity toward specific bacterial strains able to deconstruct the glycosidic bonds and utilize them as a carbon source.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)2784-2792
Number of pages9
JournalJournal of Agricultural and Food Chemistry
Issue number13
StatePublished - Apr 5 2017



  • coffee
  • coffee industrial residues
  • mass spectrometry
  • oligosaccharides
  • prebiotics

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Chemistry(all)
  • Agricultural and Biological Sciences(all)

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