Re-using coffee byproducts in food can have big health benefits
There are tons of ways to re-use coffee grounds, like growing plants, homemade hair masks, and face scrubs, to name a few. Coffee companies around the world are doing what they can to make the coffee industry more sustainable, like making re-useable cups out of coffee grounds or "leasing out" coffee to customers and then re-using the grounds. Really, the possibilities are endless — and scientists have found more reason to believe that unused parts of the coffee bean are high in nutritional value by infusing them into different foods.
Each year, the byproducts of roasting coffee beans and brewing undeniably good coffee amount to more than 2 billion metric tons worldwide. These byproducts include the silverskin – the outer layer of the bean, removed after drying and the coffee grounds, which are typically thrown out after brewing. According to a study published in Science Daily, these grounds are full of nutritional value.
These components of coffee that are usually discarded have been found to be 500 times higher in antioxidant activity than vitamin C alone. Researchers from the University of Granada also found these components to serve as powerful prebiotics (which help healthy microorganisms grow) and antimicrobials (found in medicines to help fight illness).
Researchers also found that adding sugar during the roasting process increased both the antimicrobial and antioxidant activity without reducing the prebiotic activity. Since this research has been done, The Spanish Ministry of Economics and Finance has allocated more resources to continue studies, with hopes to find a way to recycle coffee byproducts as food ingredients. This will give foods a nutrient boost as well as reducing the harmful environmental impacts of the coffee industry.
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