a science-based resource on coffee, caffeine, and health

Roasting Reactions




Many of the chemicals in food and beverages occur naturally, some are added for flavor or texture, and others are formed under certain conditions – particularly heat.

More than 1,000 compounds are found in coffee bean after roasting. Some are known to be strong antioxidants, while others continue to be the subject of scientific inquiry. Many of these are produced spontaneously when certain natural components are heated together at high temperatures. This chemical reaction is known as the “Maillard Reaction,” or something we typically call “browning.”