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The Potentials of Green Coffee Proteins as New Functional Food Components †

Harshadrai Rawel
* and
Sorel Tchewonpi Sagu
Institute of Nutritional Science, University of Potsdam, Arthur-Scheunert-Allee 114-116, 14558 Potsdam, Germany
Author to whom correspondence should be addressed.
Presented at the International Coffee Convention 2023, Mannheim, Germany, 30 September–3 October 2023.
Proceedings 2023, 89(1), 13;
Published: 4 August 2023
(This article belongs to the Proceedings of International Coffee Convention 2023)


Proteins/enzymes, peptides and free amino acids in green coffee beans are the main contributors to the development of coffee flavor and quality during roasting, as a result of the Maillard reaction, and are ultimately responsible for the formation of the coffee aroma. Only 0.15–2.5% of free amino acids are present in the green beans. A crude protein content of 8.5 to 12% after correction for caffeine and trigonelline has been reported. The proteins can be classified into storage, structural and metabolic proteins. A recent UniProt data bank search (May 2023) delivered some 104 reviewed proteins, with mostly enzymes listed. The most abundant were the legumin-like 11S seed storage proteins, accounting for about 45% of the total proteins in the coffee bean. An accumulation of 11S during bean development/maturation is consistent with its storage function and ultimately is a source of amino acids. Recent data reveal that the proteins are being modified even before coffee roasting, and can be impacted by post-harvest treatment. Coffee’s own phenolic compounds are subject to oxidation reactions and can subsequently attack the amino acid side chains of the proteins. Such interactions result in unique properties in the coffee bean proteins, with enhanced antioxidative properties, altered structural properties and differences in solubility, surface hydrophobicity and emulsification. These naturally present protein modifications provide new potential uses of green coffee bean proteins for the food, cosmetic or pharmaceutical industry.

Author Contributions

Conceptualization, S.T.S. and H.R.; writing—original draft preparation, S.T.S. and H.R.; writing—review and editing, S.T.S. and H.R.; visualization, S.T.S. and H.R. All authors have read and agreed to the published version of the manuscript.


This research received no external funding.

Institutional Review Board Statement

Not applicable.

Informed Consent Statement

Not applicable.

Data Availability Statement

No new data were created.

Conflicts of Interest

The authors declare no conflict of interest.
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MDPI and ACS Style

Rawel, H.; Sagu, S.T. The Potentials of Green Coffee Proteins as New Functional Food Components. Proceedings 2023, 89, 13.

AMA Style

Rawel H, Sagu ST. The Potentials of Green Coffee Proteins as New Functional Food Components. Proceedings. 2023; 89(1):13.

Chicago/Turabian Style

Rawel, Harshadrai, and Sorel Tchewonpi Sagu. 2023. "The Potentials of Green Coffee Proteins as New Functional Food Components" Proceedings 89, no. 1: 13.

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