Skip to main content

Variability of some diterpene esters in coffee beverages as influenced by brewing procedures


Several coffee brews, including classical and commercial beverages, were analyzed for their diterpene esters content (cafestol and kahweol linoleate, oleate, palmitate and stearate) by high performance liquid chromatography with diode array detector (HPLC–DAD) combined with spectral deconvolution. Due to the coelution of cafestol and kahweol esters at 225 nm, HPLC–DAD did not give accurate quantification of cafestol esters. Accordingly, spectral deconvolution was used to deconvolve the co-migrating profiles. Total cafestol and kahweol esters content of classical coffee brews ranged from 5–232 to 2–1016 mg/L, respectively. Commercial blends contained 1–54 mg/L of total cafestol esters and 2–403 mg/L of total kahweol esters. Boiled coffee had the highest diterpene esters content, while filtered and instant brews showed the lowest concentrations. However, individual diterpene esters content was not affected by brewing procedure as in terms of kahweol esters, kahweol palmitate was the main compound in all samples, followed by kahweol linoleate, oleate and stearate. Higher amounts of cafestol palmitate and stearate were also observed compared to cafestol linoleate and cafestol oleate. The ratio of diterpene esters esterified with unsaturated fatty acids to total diterpene esters was considered as measure of their unsaturation in analyzed samples which varied from 47 to 52%. Providing new information regarding the diterpene esters content and their distribution in coffee brews will allow a better use of coffee as a functional beverage.

This is a preview of subscription content, access via your institution.

Fig. 1
Fig. 2
Fig. 3
Fig. 4


  • Alves RC, Casal S, Oliveira MBPP (2010) Tocopherols in coffee brews: influence of coffee species, roast degree and brewing procedure. J Food Compost Anal 23:802–808. doi:10.1016/j.jfca.2010.02.009

    Article  CAS  Google Scholar 

  • Bicho NC, Leitão AE, Ramalho JC, Lidon FC (2011) Identification of chemical clusters discriminators of the roast degree in Arabica and Robusta coffee beans. Eur Food Res Technol 233:303–311. doi:10.1007/s00217-011-1518-5

    Article  CAS  Google Scholar 

  • Cavin C, Holzhaeuser D, Scharf G, Constable A, Huber WW, Schilter B (2002) Cafestol and kahweol, two coffee specific diterpenes with anticarcinogenic activity. Food Chem Toxicol 40:1155–1163. doi:10.1016/S0278-6915(02)00029-7

    Article  CAS  Google Scholar 

  • Dias RCE, Alves ST, Benassi MDT (2013) Spectrophotometric method for quantification of kahweol in coffee. J Food Compost Anal 31:137–143. doi:10.1016/j.jfca.2013.04.001

    Article  CAS  Google Scholar 

  • Erny GL, Moeenfard M, Alves A (2015) Liquid chromatography with diode array detection combined with spectral deconvolution for the analysis of some diterpene esters in Arabica coffee brew. J Sep Sci 38:612–620. doi:10.1002/jssc.201401095

    Article  CAS  Google Scholar 

  • Gross G, Jaccaud E, Huggett AC (1997) Analysis of the content of the diterpenes cafestol and kahweol in coffee brews. Food Chem Toxicol 35:547–554

    Article  CAS  Google Scholar 

  • Kitzberger CSG, Scholz MBDS, Pereira LFP, Vieira LGE, Sera T, Silva JBGD, Benassi MDT (2013) Diterpenes in green and roasted coffee of Coffea arabica cultivars growing in the same edapho-climatic conditions. J Food Compos Anal 30:52–57. doi:10.1016/j.jfca.2013.01.007

    Article  CAS  Google Scholar 

  • Kitzberger CSG, Scholz MBDS, Benassi MDT (2014) Bioactive compounds content in roasted coffee from traditional and modern Coffea arabica cultivars grown under the same edapho-climatic conditions. Food Res Int 61:61–66. doi:10.1016/j.foodres.2014.04.031

    Article  CAS  Google Scholar 

  • Kurzrock T, Speer K (2007) Diterpenes and diterpene esters in coffee. Food Rev Int 17:433–450. doi:10.1081/fri-100108532

    Article  Google Scholar 

  • Moeenfard M, Silva JA, Borges N, Santos A, Alves A (2015) Quantification of diterpenes and their palmitate esters in coffee brews by HPLC–DAD. Int J Food Prop 18:2284–2299. doi:10.1080/10942912.2014.933351

    Article  CAS  Google Scholar 

  • Mussatto SI, Machado EMS, Martins S, Teixeira JA (2011) Production, composition, and application of coffee and its industrial residues. Food Bioprocess Technol 4:661–672. doi:10.1007/s11947-011-0565-z

    Article  CAS  Google Scholar 

  • Namara KM, Howell J, Huang Y, Robbat A Jr (2007) Analysis of gin essential oil mixtures by multidimensional and one-dimensional gas chromatography/mass spectrometry with spectral deconvolution. J Chromatogr A 1164:281–290. doi:10.1016/j.chroma.2007.07.042

    Article  Google Scholar 

  • Nikolova-Damyanova B, Velikova R, Jham GN (1998) Lipid classes, fatty acid composition and triacylglycerol molecular species in crude coffee beans harvested in Brazil. Food Res Int 31:479–486

    Article  CAS  Google Scholar 

  • Novaes FJM, Oigman SS, de Souza ROMA, Rezende CM, de Aquino Neto FR (2015) New approaches on the analyses of thermolabile coffee diterpenes by gas chromatography and its relationship with cup quality. Talanta 139:159–166. doi:10.1016/j.talanta.2014.12.025

    Article  CAS  Google Scholar 

  • Parenti A, Guerrini L, Masella P, Spinelli S, Calamai L, Spugnoli P (2014) Comparison of espresso coffee brewing techniques. J Food Eng 121:112–117. doi:10.1016/j.jfoodeng.2013.08.031

    Article  Google Scholar 

  • Sehat N, Montag A, Speer K (1993) Lipids in the coffee brew. In: 15th international colloquium on the chemistry of coffee. ASIC, Paris, pp 869–872

  • Silva JA, Borges N, Santos A, Alves A (2012) Method validation for cafestol and kahweol quantification in coffee brews by HPLC–DAD. Food Anal Methods 5:1404–1410. doi:10.1007/s12161-012-9387-5

    Article  Google Scholar 

  • Speer K, Kölling-Speer I (2006) The lipid fraction of the coffee bean. Braz J Plant Physiol 18:201–216

    Article  CAS  Google Scholar 

  • Van Hoeylandt T, Chen K, Du Prez F, Lynen F (2014) Deconvolution of overlapping spectral polymer signals in size exclusion separation-diode array detection separations by implementing a multivariate curve resolution method optimized by alternating least square. J Chromatogr A 1342:63–69. doi:10.1016/j.chroma.2014.03.052

    Article  Google Scholar 

  • Vignoli JA, Bassoli DG, Benassi MT (2011) Antioxidant activity, polyphenols, caffeine and melanoidins in soluble coffee: the idnfluence of processing conditions and raw material. Food Chem 124:863–868. doi:10.1016/j.foodchem.2010.07.008

    Article  CAS  Google Scholar 

  • Williams CM (2000) Dietary fatty acids and human health. Anim Res 49:165–180

    Article  CAS  Google Scholar 

Download references


This work was financially supported by: project UID/EQU/00511/2013-LEPABE (Laboratory for Process Engineering, Environment, Biotechnology and Energy—EQU/00511) by FEDER funds through Programa Operacional Competitividade e Internacionalização—COMPETE2020 and by national funds through FCT—Fundação para a Ciência e a Tecnologia through SFRH/BD/79318/2011. This work was also funded by FEDER funds through the Operational Programme for Human Potential and by National Funds through FCT—Foundation for Science and Technology under the project IF/00528/2013.

Author information

Authors and Affiliations


Corresponding author

Correspondence to Guillaume L. Erny.

Ethics declarations

Conflict of interest

The authors declare no competing financial interest.

Rights and permissions

Reprints and Permissions

About this article

Verify currency and authenticity via CrossMark

Cite this article

Moeenfard, M., Erny, G.L. & Alves, A. Variability of some diterpene esters in coffee beverages as influenced by brewing procedures. J Food Sci Technol 53, 3916–3927 (2016).

Download citation

  • Revised:

  • Accepted:

  • Published:

  • Issue Date:

  • DOI:


  • Cafestol esters
  • Kahweol esters
  • Coffee brews
  • Spectral deconvolution
  • Diode array detection