Safety studies on products from whole coffee fruit.

Research paper by J T JT Heimbach, P A PA Marone, J M JM Hunter, B V BV Nemzer, S M SM Stanley, E E Kennepohl

Indexed on: 06 Jul '10Published on: 06 Jul '10Published in: Food and Chemical Toxicology


The fruit of the coffee plant, Coffea arabica, has high phenolic antioxidant and phytonutrient content and could be a beneficial food ingredient. However, the fruit has historically been discarded for the favored harvesting of the coffee bean alone. CoffeeBerry products are derived from the whole fruit and include a ground whole powder, a water extract, and a more recently developed water-ethanol extract. The safety of CoffeeBerry products was evaluated in three genotoxicity studies, three short-term oral toxicity studies, and a 90-day dietary toxicity study. Bacterial mutagenicity studies and a micronucleus test using murine peripheral cells demonstrated that none of the three products showed mutagenic or genotoxic potential. In the short-term studies, despite palatability issues, female rats showed a tolerance for whole powder and ethanol extract at doses up to 8800 mg/kg bw/day. Male rats also exhibited palatability issues and tolerated lower doses of approximately 4000 mg/kg bw/day ethanol extract via gavage and approximately 2100 mg/kg bw/day whole powder or water extract in the diet. When fed in the diet to Sprague-Dawley rats for 90 days, ethanol extract showed no adverse effects at dietary concentrations of up to 5% (approximately 3446 and 4087 mg/kg bw/day for male and female rats, respectively).