Food Analytical Methods

, Volume 12, Issue 1, pp 121–127 | Cite as

Comprehensive Isotopic Data Evaluation (CIDE) of Carbon Isotope Ratios for Quality Assessment and Traceability of Coffee

  • L. Schipilliti
  • I. BonaccorsiEmail author
  • A. G. Buglia
  • L. Mondello


A new analytical approach to differentiate coffee botanical species and geographic origin is here reported. The method is based on the determination of the carbon isotope ratio (δ13C) of caffeine in green and in the corresponding roasted coffee, evaluated with a comprehensive approach using as second parameter the value of δ13C of the whole volatile fraction of the roasted coffee samples. The study initially evaluates the roasting effect on caffeine by using gas chromatography hyphenated to the carbon isotope ratio mass spectrometry (GC-C-IRMS). The results are then evaluated based on a novel comprehensive isotopic data evaluation (CIDE) model demonstrating that regardless the roasting effect and the different geographic origin, the coffee samples analyzed can be discriminated based on their botanical origin and in particular arabicas and robustas.


Traceability Carbon isotope C. robusta C. arabica Data evaluation 


Compliance with Ethical Standards

Conflict of Interest

Luisa Schipilliti declares that she has no conflict of interest. Ivana Lidia Bonaccorsi declares that she has no conflict of interest. Ana Gabriela Buglia declares that she has no conflict of interest. Luigi Mondello declares that he has no conflict of interest.

Ethical Approval

This article does not contain any studies with human or animal subjects.

Informed Consent

Not applicable.


  1. Baggenstoss J, Poisson L, Kaegi R, Perren R, Escher F (2008) Coffee roasting and aroma formation: application of different time-temperature conditions. J Agric and Food Chem 56:5836–5846CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  2. Braunsdorf R, Hener U, Stein S, Mosandl A (1993) A comprehensive cGC-IRMS analysis in the authenticity control of flavours and essential oils. Part I: lemon oil. Lebensm Z Unters Forsch 197:137–141CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  3. Casal S, Oliveira MB, Ferreira MA (2000) HPLC/diode-array applied to the thermal degradation of trigonelline, nicotinic acid and caffeine in coffee. Food Chem 68:481–485CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  4. Dart SK, Nursten HE (1985) Volatile components. In: Clarke RJ, Macrae R (eds) Coffee, volume 1, chemistry. Elsevier, London, pp 223–265Google Scholar
  5. Davis AP, Govaerts R, Bridson DM, Stoffelen P (2006) An annotated taxonomic conspectus of the genus Coffea (Rubiaceae) Bot. J Linnean Soc 2006(152):465–512CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  6. Defernez M, Wren E, Watson AD, Gunning Y, Colquhoun IJ, Le Gall G et al (2017) Low-field 1H NMR spectroscopy for distinguishing between arabic and robusta ground roast coffees. Food Chem 216:106–113CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  7. Dunbar J, Wilson AT (1982) Determination of geographic origin of caffeine by stable isotope analysis. Anal Chem 54(3):590–592CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  8. Flament I (2002) Coffee flavor chemistry. John Wiley & Sons, Ltd., West SussexGoogle Scholar
  9. Gunning Y, Defernez M, Watson AD, Beadman N, Colquhoun IJ, le Gall G, Philo M, Garwood H, Williamson D, Davis AP, Kemsley EK (2018) 16-O-methylcafestol is present in ground roast Arabica coffees: implications for authenticity testing. Food Chem 248:52–60CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  10. International Coffee Organization. (2017). International Coffee Organization Annual Review 2015–2016Google Scholar
  11. Ivamoto ST, Sakuray LM, Ferreira LP et al (2017) Diterpenes biochemical profile and transcriptional analysis of cytochrome P450s genes in leaves, roots, flowers, and during Coffea arabica L. fruit development. Plant Phys. Biochemist 111:340–347Google Scholar
  12. Maeztu L, Sanz C, Andueza S, De Peña MP, Bello J, Cid C (2001) Characterization of espresso coffee aroma by static headspace GC-MS and sensory flavor profile. J Agric Food Chem 49:5437–5444CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  13. Richling E, Höhn C, Weckerle B, Heckel F, Schreier P (2003) Authentication analysis of caffeine-containing foods via elemental analysis combustion/pyrolysis isotope ratio mass spectrometry (EA-C/P-IRMS). Eur Food Res Technol 216:544–548CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  14. Richling E, Preston C, Kavvadias D, Kahle K, Heppel C, Hummel S, Köning T, Schreier P (2005) Determination of the 2H/1H and 15N/14N ratios of alkylpyrazines from coffee beans (Coffea arabica L. and Coffea canephora var. robusta) by isotope ratio mass spectrometry. J Agric Food Chem 53:7925–7930CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  15. Rodrigues CI, Maia R, Miranda M, Ribeirinho M, Nogueira JMF, Máguas C (2009) Stable isotope analysis for green coffee bean: a possible method for geographic origin discrimination. J Food Comp Anal 22:463–471CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  16. Rodrigues C, Brunner M, Steiman S, Bowen GJ, Nogueira JMF, Gautz L, Prohaska T, Máguas C (2011) Isotopes as tracers of the Hawaiian coffee-producing regions. J Agric Food Chem 59:10239–10246CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  17. Santato A, Bertoldi D, Perini M, Camin F, Larcher R (2012) Using elemental profiles and stable isotopes to trace the origin of green coffee beans on the global market. J Mass Spectrom 47:1132–1140CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  18. Serra F, Guillou CG, Reniero F, Ballarin L, Cantagallo MI, Wieser M, Iyer SS, Héberger K, Vanhaecke F (2005) Determination of the geographical origin of green coffee by principal component analysis of carbon, nitrogen and boron stable isotope ratios. Rapid Commun Mass Spectrom 19:2111–2115CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  19. Toci AT, Farah A, Pezza HR, Pezza L (2016) Coffee adulteration: more than two decades of research. Crit Rev Anal Chem 46(2):83–92CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  20. Tranchida PQ, Purcaro G, Conte L, Dugo P, Dugo G, Mondello L (2009) Enhanced resolution comprehensive two-dimensional gas chromatography applied to the analysis of roasted coffee volatiles. J Chromatogr A 1216:7301–7306CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  21. Weckerle B, Richling E, Heinrich S, Schreier P (2002) Origin assessment of green coffee (Coffea arabica) by multi-element stable isotope analysis of caffeine. Anal Bioanal Chem 374:886–890CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  22. Wu C, Yamada K, Sumikawa O, Matsunaga A, Gilbert A, Yoshida N (2012) Development of a methodology using gas chromatography-combustion isotope ratio mass spectrometry for the determination of the carbon isotope ratio of caffeine extracted from tea leaves (Camellia sinensis). Rapid Commun Mass Spectrom 26:978–982CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  23. Yeretzian C, Jordan A, Badoud R, Lindinger W (2002) From the green bean to the cup of coffee: investigating coffee roasting by on-line monitoring of volatiles. Eur Food Res and Technol 214(2):92–104CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  24. Zhang L, Kujawinski DM, Federherr E, Schmidt TC, Jochmann MA (2012) Caffeine in your drink: natural or synthetic? Anal Chem 84:2805–2810CrossRefGoogle Scholar

Copyright information

© Springer Science+Business Media, LLC, part of Springer Nature 2018

Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.Dipartimento di Scienze Chimiche, Biologiche, Farmaceutiche ed AmbientaliUniversity of MessinaMessinaItaly
  2. 2.Chromaleont s.r.l., c/o Dipartimento di Scienze Chimiche, Biologiche, Farmaceutiche ed AmbientaliUniversity of MessinaMessinaItaly

Personalised recommendations