According to the academic journal Food Science and Technology:

  1. Coffee grounds and its silverskin (chaff) contain strong antimicrobial properties called melanoidins, (released during the roasting process). These elements could be separated and used as a natural additive in food products to prevent the growth of harmful pathogens.
  2. Both the grounds and chaff are rich in fiber and phenols, which provide antioxidant protection from heart disease and cancer.
  3. The antioxidant effect of these waste products are 500 times greater than those found in vitamin C.
  4. These elements could be used to create new healthy foods packed with a significant quantity of easily absorbed nutrition.

Prior to the release of this research, coffee waste including chaff were thought to have only a limited variety of uses such as fertilizer for certain plants, or as a body scrub. Most of the rubbish from coffee production currently goes into landfills, but with this discovery, coffee grounds can be recycled. This will create new eco-friendly businesses in the recycling sector, reduce pollution, and provide a wide range of health benefits to humans all over the world.

Ana Jiménez-Zamora, Silvia Pastoriza, José A. Rufián-Henares. Revalorization of coffee by-products. Prebiotic, antimicrobial and antioxidant properties. LWT – Food Science and Technology, 2015; 61 (1): 12 DOI: 10.1016/j.lwt.2014.11.031

University of Granada. (2015, May 7). Antioxidant effects of coffee by-products 500 times greater than vitamin C. ScienceDaily. Retrieved from