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    N,N-dimethylpiperidinium (mepiquat) is a new process-induced compound formed from natural constituents during the cooking process. Mepiquat was first found in coffee and cereal products, but its formation mechanism in coffee is still unclear. In the current study, Arabica and Robusta coffee beans were roasted at different temperatures (215, 220, and 230 °C) to study the effect of roasting process on mepiquat formation. The highest mepiquat content, 1,020 µg/kg, was found in dark roast (230 °C) Indonesia Wahana, while 430 µg/kg of mepiquat was detected in medium roast (220 °C) Vietnam Robusta. At the same roasting temperature, higher level of mepiquat was observed in Arabica than in Robusta. In both species, substances related to mepiquat formation, including betaine, choline, trigonelline, lysine, carnitine, pipecolic acid (PipAc), pipecolic acid betaine (PipBet), were also detected. The lysine-based Maillard reaction and decarboxylation in Arabica and Robusta promoted mepiquat formation through the degradation of choline and trigonelline, and the formation of intermediate products. Results from both the model system and selected commercial beans showed that choline and trigonelline had a significant correlation (P < 0.01) with mepiquat formation in Arabica. PRACTICAL APPLICATION: Mepiquat is considered as a new process-induced compound resulting from typical roasting conditions, but its formation mechanism in coffee is still unclear. This work demonstrates the formation mechanism of mepiquat by many precursor substances contained in Arabica and Robusta. It is very important to figure out how mepiquat is ''naturally" present in daily diets, especially in those processed at high temperatures. © 2020 Institute of Food Technologists®.


    Xuenan Li, Xu Zhang, Lulu Tan, Haiyang Yan, Yuan Yuan. Heat-induced formation of N,N-dimethylpiperidinium (mepiquat) in Arabica and Robusta coffee. Journal of food science. 2020 Sep;85(9):2754-2761

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    PMID: 32794260

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