Ground pistachio coffee could be healthier alternative to decaf

June 26, 2014, PlanetEarth Online
Ground pistachio coffee could be healthier alternative to decaf

Coffee made from ground pistachios could be a healthier option for decaf drinkers, say scientists.

Pistachios have been used as a coffee alternative in Turkey for many years since have a similar aroma to conventional roasted . But their high means that instead of producing a dry powder, they make an oily, sludgy paste.

'This plant has been roasted and used as a caffeine-free alternative to coffee beans for many years, but it has such a high oil content that it didn't resemble the coffee grinds people know how to use at home. This meant it wasn't really a suitable alternative,' says Dr Fahrettin Gogus of the University of Gaziantep in Turkey, lead researcher on the NERC-funded project.

Gogus and his team have found a way to remove the excess oil produced in the roasting process to make ground coffee that you could use at home.

'We wanted to produce a powdery version which in the future could be widely used. This oil-free version can be used in any coffee machine to produce espresso-like coffee,' Gogus says. 'It is not exactly the same as a traditional cup of coffee; it has a very different aroma. But in the same way that Arabica coffee or Robusta have specific aromas our coffee has a pine and citrus aroma which makes it very special as a cup of coffee.'

The pine and citrus aroma is a product of certain compounds, called volatiles, which are found in the oil the pistachios produce during roasting. While some of the volatiles give the coffee a pleasant smell, others can be harmful. By roasting the nuts and then pressing them the scientists managed to remove half of the oil, together with those potentially harmful compounds.

'Yes, by removing the oil we lose some of the flavour, but we also remove the unwanted components,' says Gogus. 'Some of these volatiles are known to be carcinogenic but any product such as caramel or chocolate has some level of these. As long as we remove the oil after roasting, these amounts are very low. In a cup of coffee made with pistachio they wouldn't be harmful.'

Unlike decaffeinated coffee beans, pistachios haven't been treated chemically to remove the caffeine. The type of nut used to make the coffee, Pistacia terebinthus, is also known for its antioxidant, antiseptic and anti-inflammatory properties - making pistachio a much healthier alternative.

'We plan to seperate the we produce and sell it as a product in its own right, and we can use the rest of plant too so it will be a very sustainable process,' Gogus explains.

Explore further: Green coffee benefits prove limited in mice research

More information: Reference: Mustafa Z. Ozel, Derya K. Yan¿k, Fahrettin Gogus, Jacqueline F. Hamilton, Alastair C. Lewis, "Effect of roasting method and oil reduction on volatiles of roasted Pistacia terebinthus using direct thermal desorption-GCxGC-TOF/MS, LWT" - Food Science and Technology,

Related Stories

Green coffee benefits prove limited in mice research

May 1, 2014
The efficacy of green coffee extract to impact on an independent risk factor for cardiovascular heart disease has been proven ineffective in mice models fed high fat diets (HFD) a recent study has shown.

Recommended for you

Women run faster after taking newly developed supplement, study finds

January 19, 2018
A new study found that women who took a specially prepared blend of minerals and nutrients for a month saw their 3-mile run times drop by almost a minute.

Americans are getting more sleep

January 19, 2018
Although more than one in three Americans still don't get enough sleep, a new analysis shows first signs of success in the fight for more shut eye. According to data from 181,335 respondents aged 15 and older who participated ...

Wine is good for you—to a point

January 18, 2018
The Mediterranean diet has become synonymous with healthy eating, but there's one thing in it that stands out: It's cool to drink wine.

Sleep better, lose weight?

January 17, 2018
(HealthDay)—Sleeplessness could cost you when it's time to stand on your bathroom scale, a new British study suggests.

Who uses phone apps to track sleep habits? Mostly the healthy and wealthy in US

January 16, 2018
The profile of most Americans who use popular mobile phone apps that track sleep habits is that they are relatively affluent, claim to eat well, and say they are in good health, even if some of them tend to smoke.

Improvements in mortality rates are slowed by rise in obesity in the United States

January 15, 2018
With countless medical advances and efforts to curb smoking, one might expect that life expectancy in the United States would improve. Yet according to recent studies, there's been a reduction in the rate of improvement in ...


Please sign in to add a comment. Registration is free, and takes less than a minute. Read more

Click here to reset your password.
Sign in to get notified via email when new comments are made.