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Iwasa K.,Suntory Global Innovation Center Ltd Suntory | Setoyama D.,Kyushu University | Shimizu H.,Suntory Global Innovation Center Ltd Suntory | Seta H.,Suntory Global Innovation Center Ltd Suntory | And 5 more authors.
Journal of Agricultural and Food Chemistry | Year: 2015

The quality of coffee green beans is generally evaluated by the sensory cupping test, rather than by chemical compound-based criteria. In this study, we examined the relationship between metabolites and cupping scores for 36 varieties of beans, using a nontargeted LC-MS-based metabolic profiling technique. The cupping score was precisely predicted with the metabolic information measured using LC-MS. Two markers that strongly correlated with high cupping scores were determined to be isomers of 3-methylbutanoyl disaccharides (3MDs; 0.01-0.035 g/kg of beans) by spectroscopic analyses after purification, and one of them was a novel structure. Further, both the 3MDs were determined to be precursors of 3-methylbutanoic acid that enhance the quality of coffee. The applicability of 3MDs as universal quality indicators was validated with another sample set. It was concluded that 3MDs are the causative metabolites determining beverage quality and can be utilized for green bean selection and as key compounds for improving the beverage quality. © 2015 American Chemical Society.

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