HomeThe Manila Journal of Sciencevol. 7 no. 1 (2011)

Comparative Physicochemical Analyses of Regular and Civet Coffee

Stephanie Chan | Emmanuel Garcia

Discipline: Biochemistry



Regular and Civet coffee beans of the Coffea robusta variety were analysed for α -tocopherol and caffeine contents by HPLC, surface microstructure by SEM, minerals by EDX. Probably due to absorption, the α-tocopherol content of the civet coffee beans was lower compared to the regular robusta coffee beans. Heating damages the cell membrane and vacuoles, causing an increased release of α -tocopherol and caffeine. Interestingly, calculations showed that roasting produced a more pronounced increase in α -tocopherol content in regular robusta than in the civet counterpart. Meanwhile, the caffeine content increase of the Civet coffee beans may be attributed to the possible formation of amino acids which are precursors of caffeine biosynthesis. SEM revealed that civet coffee beans acquired surface micro-pitting due to the action of digestive enzymes. The roasted regular robusta and civet coffee beans showed a smoother surface due to the fusion of cellulose in the cell wall. The mineral content of the civet coffee beans were lower than that of regular robusta which may have been an effect of absorption by the civet.