Chapter 3

Plant Biochemistry

Trigonelline Biosynthesis in Coffea arabica and Coffea canephora

Hiroshi Ashihara     Department of Biological Science, Ochanomizu University, Bunkyo-ku, Tokyo, Japan


Trigonelline (N-methylnicotinic acid) is a major alkaloid in coffee seeds. During roasting, it is converted to nicotinic acid (niacin) and other metabolites that are related to the taste and aroma of coffee beverage. Trigonelline is present in all parts of coffee plants. Its content in coffee seeds is 1–3% dry weight. In contrast to caffeine, there has been little study of the biosynthesis and degradation of trigonelline in Coffea arabica and Coffea canephora. This study reveals the outline of trigonelline metabolism in Coffea plants. The major biosynthetic ...

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