You’ve probably wondered if coffee is really a fruit.
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Is coffee a fruit or a vegetable?
Yes, Coffee is a fruit.
Coffee grows on bushes that bear small red fruits called coffee cherries. Inside each cherry, more specifically in the pulp, are coffee beans, which are technically misnamed as they are actually seeds.
So, the cherry is the fruit while the bean inside represents the seed.
India is one of the few places in the world where the terminology is used correctly, using “coffee seeds” rather than “coffee beans”.
The coffee cherry is a small fruit, about the size of a peanut, which when ripe can be red, purple or yellowish in color.
When the cherries are ripe, the coffee farmers pick them and process them, removing the fruit and leaving the green coffee beans to dry.
protects the bean inside the cherry. This pulp is edible and tastes like watermelon or mango.
So, the coffee cherry that grows on the trees is the fruit, and the seed inside the fruit is the coffee bean, which is just part of the fruit.
What is the composition of the coffee fruit?
It is important to know that the coffee cherry (coffee fruit) consists mainly of two parts, the pericarp and the seed.
Pericarp: These are the three outer layers of the fruit: exocarp (skin), mesocarp (mucus), and endocarp (parchment).
- It is the outermost layer of the coffee fruit.
- Its color changes depending on the ripeness of the fruit.
- It is formed by a layer of parenchyma cells.
- Their color changes after maturation depending on the type of coffee. It can be red or yellow.
Mesocarp (mucus, pulp):
- If the coffee fruit is green, the mesocarp is rigid.
- It consists of more than 20 layers of cells.
- It is the layer that covers and protects the seed.
- It is pale yellow in color.
- It has a hard consistency but is brittle when dry.
- It consists of 3 to 7 layers of sclerenchyma cells.
- The parchment layer must be removed before the coffee is roasted.
Seed: Consists of a silver skin, an endosperm and an embryo.
- It is the outermost layer that envelops the seed.
Endosperm (seed or coffee bean):
- Each coffee cherry has 2 endosperm seeds that are colored green or yellow.
- The endosperm has a chemical content that gives it the flavor and aroma of roasted coffee.
- The chemical compounds in the endosperm can be classified as water soluble or water insoluble.
- Soluble compounds include trigonelline, caffeine, and nicotinic acid, among others.
- Insoluble compounds include polysaccharides, cellulose, hemicellulose and lignin.
- It is located above the convex surface of the endosperm.
- It consists of a hypocotyl and two cotyledons.
- It is 3 – 4 mm long.
Why is coffee not a vegetable?
As we all know, vegetables are the edible part of a plant, such as: B. an onion or a carrot. Fruit, on the other hand, is the reproductive product of a plant, so it must contain seeds, as is the case with a banana or an apple.
This means that coffee cherries are fruits because they are the product of the coffee plant and not, on the contrary, a part of it.
Does coffee have the same health benefits as fruits and vegetables?
Coffee beans contain many nutrients similar to those found in fruits and vegetables that may have beneficial health effects, including the following:
Potassium: Coffee beans are a good source of potassium. A cup of coffee can contain around 500 mg of potassium.
Protein: A 230ml cup of coffee can contain about 2 grams of protein.
Magnesium: A cup of coffee can contain 80 mg of magnesium.
Fiber: Coffee beans are also a good source of fiber. A cup of coffee contains up to 4 grams of fiber.
Antioxidants: A cup of coffee contains about 1000 mg of antioxidants.
Antioxidants in coffee
Antioxidants are substances that strengthen cells and reduce various chronic diseases.
Among the main antioxidants found in coffee beans, the following stand out
Kaempferol: This is a type of flavonoid.
As a reminder, flavonoids are a class of antioxidants that have been linked to various health benefits; in this case, kaempferol has an anti-inflammatory and heart-health-promoting effect.
Quercetin: A flavonoid that reduces inflammation and improves heart health.
Chlorogenic Acid: A phenolic acid that helps control blood sugar levels and also inhibits inflammation.
Products that can be made from coffee cherries
Here are some of the different uses for coffee cherries.
Coffee Oil: Coffee oil, which has a strong aroma and taste, can be obtained by pressing the coffee beans. It can be used to moisturize skin and hair or to flavor food.
Syrup: Coffee cherry syrup can be made by boiling coffee cherries with water and sugar.
Fruit leather: To do this, the pulp of the coffee cherry must be spread out on a flat surface and then dried in the sun.
Soap: Soap can be made from the oil extracted from the coffee cherries, which has a distinct coffee aroma.
Coffee tea: To prepare the tea, the dried shells of the coffee cherries are infused in hot water. This tea has a slightly sweet taste.
Jam: To make jam, coffee cherries are boiled with sugar and water.
What is coffee fruit extract?
Coffee fruit extract is a product obtained from the coffee fruit plant. The extract is a nootropic that increases energy and improves brain function.
As long as you are not overly sensitive to caffeine, it is safe to consume.
The extract has several health benefits: it contains a large number of antioxidants, improves brain health, delays the signs of aging and promotes weight loss.
It is recommended to buy high quality organic coffee fruit extracts as they use the highest quality cherries.
Coffee extract is mainly sold in pharmacies or health food stores in the form of liquid extracts, tablets and capsules.