Coffee finding new functionality

Naturally healthy elements and addition of extracts are expanding market potential

EUROPE Coffee is following in the footsteps of green, white and herbal teas by having its functionality tapped beyond its obvious caffeine sell. Like the cocoa bean, which has hundreds of potentially healthy constituent parts, the coffee bean is complex, and researchers are finding it to be more nutritious thanfirst thought. Various purveyors are now utilising weight-management and diabetes claims.

It's a situation that is leading to some high-tech coffee products entering the market, in addition to the increasing number of coffee products that are simply fortified with ingredients such as inulin once the coffee bean has been harvested and refined.

French supplier, Berkem, has a clinically backed green-coffee extract called Svetol, which is being sold as a weight-management ingredient, and finding its way into foods, beverages and supplements.

Texan organic, fair-trade coffee specialist, Voyava Republic, which has a patented process that imbues coffee beans with herbal extracts such as ginkgo biloba, white tea and echinacea, recently signed a licensing agreement to allow UK company Boaters to use its technology for its 'Coffee+' range in Europe.

Voyava Republic president and CEO Michael Sweeney told Functional Ingredients his company employed the services of three flavour houses to mask the taste of the introduced ingredients.

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