The coffee is a highly appreciated beverage and has a great popularity. With an attractive aroma and flavor, coffee contributes to health thanks to the stimulating effects of caffeine. Also, coffee ranks among the most commonly consumed beverages.
Today it is consumed more than 2.25 billion cups of coffee a day, which makes the coffee one of the most important agricultural commodities, since it is cultivated in 80 countries and on more than 11 million hectares. Taxonomically speaking, coffee belongs to the family of Rubiaceae (consisting of 11,000 types divided into 660 genera).
The genome (DNA) of coffee has been the subject of scientific research for years now, and recently published results have shown a remarkable coincidence between established chromosomal region of coffee with chromosomal regions of vines, as well as high compatibility with the tomato genome.
In order to ensure the future of sustainable amounts of high-quality raw materials such as cocoa and coffee, last year a group of scientists from the French Institute for Research and Development and the National Center for sequencing and the University of Buffalo, with the help of experts from the Nestlé research and development center in Tours, sequenced DNA from coffee beans. This significant discovery in the future could be the key to improving yield, fruit quality and resistance to disease and drought, and could also affect the increase of farmers’ income.
It was found that most of the genetic structure of Robusta coffee is responsible for two main functions, namely the defense system of plants and metabolic processes. The genome of coffee includes several specific genes important for plant defense functions, including N-methyltransferase (NMT) involved in the biosynthesis of caffeine. Caffeine is a chemical compound that synthesizes several plant species, including cocoa and tea, and is synthesized in the leaves of coffee plants which has insecticidal properties. Caffeine in coffee depends on plant varieties, geographical origin, climate conditions, time of harvest and processing methods, the intensity of roasting coffee beans and method of preparation of the beverage.
More recent epidemiological studies also confirm the many positive effects of coffee such as reducing the risk of developing Parkinson’s and Alzheimer’s disease, type 2 diabetes and liver cancer and colon cancer. Besides caffeine, many other bioactive ingredients of coffee have positive effects on the human body, especially polyphenols.
It is undisputed that coffee continues to be the subject of many more scientific researches, and all coffee lovers will still be able to enjoy this favorite drink of the 21st century.