Coffee by-products like coffee grounds and silverskins are normally discarded in favor of the beverage itself, but a new study has demonstrated that these byproducts have antioxidant effects 500 times greater than those found in vitamin C.

José Ángel Rufíán Henares, of the University of Granada, and colleagues designed this research, described in the journal Food Science and Technology, to assess the antioxidant and microbial properties of coffee grounds and silverskin. The scientists discovered that the antioxidant effects of the coffee byproducts were 500 times greater than those found in vitamin C and may be used in food supplementation for significant health benefits.

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Not only are these by-products rich in fiber and phenols, they also contain high levels of melanoidins that could be used to prevent the growth of harmful pathogens in food products. However, to harness the potential prebiotic effects of the byproducts, the melanoidins would need to be removed because they can interfere with the beneficial prebiotic properties.

The researchers will be conducting additional studies to reassess the potential value of these coffee by-products.

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