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Title:
METHOD OF IMPROVING COFFEE CREMA
Document Type and Number:
WIPO Patent Application WO/2014/102232
Kind Code:
A1
Abstract:
The present invention relates to processes of preparing a coffee product such as a soluble coffee product. In particular the present invention relates to processes of preparing a coffee product, such as a soluble coffee product, that generates stable espresso-type foam or crema upon reconstitution. The present invention further relates to coffee products obtained from these processes.

Inventors:
LELOUP, Valérie Martine, Jeanine (Ch. de l'Aubépine 7, Orbe, CH-1350, CH)
MORA, Frederico (Boulevard Carl-Vogt 16, Genève, CH-1205, CH)
MONTAVON, Philippe (Rte du Village 16, Echichens, CH-1112, CH)
Application Number:
EP2013/077884
Publication Date:
July 03, 2014
Filing Date:
December 23, 2013
Export Citation:
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Assignee:
NESTEC S.A. (IP Department, Avenue Nestlé 55, Vevey, CH-1800, CH)
International Classes:
A23F5/16; A23F5/24; A23F5/36
Domestic Patent References:
WO2009040249A1
Foreign References:
US20110281013A1
US20070231443A1
US20060088627A1
US5714183A
EP0839457A1
Other References:
"Preparation of coffee extract, involves packing raw coffee bean and water in sealed container, heating at preset temperature and mixing ground coffee bean with plant polysaccharide degrading enzyme", DERWENT, 2004, XP002372451,
Attorney, Agent or Firm:
LOMHOLT, Stig (IP Department, Avenue Nestlé 55, Vevey, CH-1800, CH)
Download PDF:
Claims:
Claims

1. A process of making a coffee product comprising the steps of:

(i) providing a coffee extract,

(ii) reducing the total amount of one or more polysaccharide molecules in said extract.

2. The process according to claim 1, further comprising at least one step of concentrating said coffee extract. 3. The process according to claim 2, wherein said one or more polysaccharide molecules is mannan, galactomannan or a combination hereof.

4. The process according to any of the preceding claims, wherein said one or more polysaccharide molecules is an unsubstituted mannan.

5. The process according to any of the preceding claims, wherein said coffee product is a soluble coffee product.

6. The process according to any of the preceding claims, wherein the reduction of the amount of polysaccharide molecules in said extract is performed by reducing the amount of aggregated polysaccharide molecules present in said extract.

7. The process according to any of the preceding claims, wherein the reduction of the total amount of mannan or galactomannan molecules in said extract is performed by reducing the amount of β (1-4) mannan (crystalline) aggregates or galactomannan (crystalline) aggregates in said extract.

8. The process according to any of the preceding claims, wherein the amount of aggregated polysaccharides molecules in said extract is reduced by enzymatic degradation.

9. The process according to any of the preceding claims, wherein the amount of aggregated polysaccharides molecules in said extract is reduced by means of centrifugation.

10. The process according to any of the preceding claims, wherein the reduction of polysaccharide molecules is obtained by removing aggregated polysaccharide molecules having a particle size of about 3 Mm and above. 11. The process according to any of the preceding claims, wherein the amount of polysaccharide molecules in said extract is reduced by hydrolysis of said molecules.

12. The process according to any of the preceding claims, wherein said extract is treated with mannanase.

13. A coffee product obtained by the process according to any of the preceding claims. 14. A coffee product having a total content of mannan molecules below 13% (dry weight %).

15. The coffee product of claim 39, wherein the total content of mannan molecules is in the range of 4.5 to 13% (dry weight %).

Description:
Method of improving coffee crema

Technical field of the invention

The present invention relates to processes of preparing a coffee product such as a soluble coffee product. In particular the present invention relates to processes of preparing a coffee product, such as a soluble coffee product, that generates stable espresso-type foam or crema upon reconstitution. The present invention further relates to coffee products obtained from these processes. Background of the invention

In espresso coffees, persistent foam also referred to as "crema" represents a visual quality criterion. The volume, texture, finesse, color and stability of the crema are distinctive characteristics appealing to the consumer. Crema results from the extraction of surface active coffee components that coat and stabilize the gas bubbles created by blasting the tamped espresso coffee matrix with

pressurized heated water.

The development of a soluble coffee delivering espresso-type crema upon reconstitution would definitively represent a competitive advantage in the field of coffee beverage production. The scientific and technical challenges are

considerable since soluble coffee composition and preparation of the same are quite different from espresso extraction.

As concerns coffee processing, the industrial extraction allows the extraction of additional polysaccharides and nitrogen-rich compounds in the hot extraction phase (i.e. 160-180°C). Changes in the physical state of extracted coffee compounds occur upon subsequent concentration leading to aggregation and sedimentation of the compounds. The role of these compounds specific to soluble coffee and the impact of their physical state on foaming properties of coffee are poorly understood.

WO 2009/040249 and EP 0839457 disclose processes of making an instant coffee, particularly a spray-dried instant coffee, which, when contacted with hot water, produces a foam which simulates espresso crema. As part of the soluble

"espresso" coffee generation process, the extract is foamed by pressurized gas injection, and spray dried under sufficient drier outlet temperature and spray pressure conditions to obtain porous particles with gas bubbles incorporated therein. The incorporation of minute size gas bubbles is essential for the delivery of an improved in-cup foam.

The production of pure soluble coffee at industrial scale generates two main types of sediments: thermal sediments and concentration sediments. Thermal sediments are usually produced during the extraction process and result from the severe thermal treatment the coffee is submitted to during extraction, which induces the formation of carbohydrate-phenolic-protein complexes or adducts which involve covalent bonding. The thermal type of sediments is nitrogen-rich. The concentration type of sediments, on the other hand, is produced during the evaporation stage which follows the extraction step, by the aggregation and/or crystallization of mannan molecules. Their amount increases throughout the evaporation process while their molecular characteristics remain substantially the same. They correspond to linear chains of 15 to 50 mannose units as determined by their molecular weight distribution. Upon concentration in the evaporators, solubilized mannan molecules go from a dilute regime in which molecules hardly interact, to a semi-dilute one in which molecules are in contact and rearrange into aggregates and crystalline structures. These regimes are separated by a threshold concentration, at which mannan molecules start interacting and precipitating. Product appearance and pleasure during consumption are key attributes driving consumer preference. Foam volume, density and stability play a pivotal role for the perceived quality of coffee beverages. A pure soluble coffee that produces stable espresso-type crema would therefore represent a clear advantage in the field.

Summary of the invention

Compared to espresso, industrial coffee manufacture allows for extracting more molecules and favoring physical changes of coffee compounds during extraction, evaporation and drying . The impact of these process steps on foaming properties is poorly understood. Building scientific understanding of coffee foam chemistry and physics will enable the development of appropriate process solutions to refine coffee composition and powder structure for optimal foam delivery upon reconstitution.

Thus, an object of the present invention relates to the provision of processes of making an improved coffee product having improved foam upon reconstitution. The objective of the present inventors was therefore to establish the molecular and structural bases of coffee foam and to develop means for improving foam volume, appearance and stability upon reconstitution of an instant powder.

The present inventors found that the aggregation and sedimentation phenomena taking place during the concentration of coffee extracts play a significant role in the quality of the final coffee product in terms of foam volume, appearance and stability upon reconstitution.

The present inventors found that the problem outlined above may be solved by lowering the amount of one or more polysaccharide molecules (mannan and/or galactomannan in particular) in the coffee extract during the process of making the coffee product. The reduction of the amount of polysaccharide molecules may be accomplished by reducing the amount of polysaccharide molecules in solution and/or by removing precipitated aggregated polysaccharide molecules generated during the process, e.g. sediment of aggregated polysaccharide molecules generated in the process of concentrating the coffee extract to obtain the coffee product.

Thus, one aspect of the invention relates to a process of making a coffee product comprising the steps of:

(i) providing a coffee extract,

(ii) reducing the total amount of one or more polysaccharide molecules in said extract.

In particular, one aspect of the invention relates to a process of making a coffee product having increased foam volume and/or stability upon reconstitution of said coffee product, said method comprising the steps of: (i) providing a coffee extract,

(ii) reducing the total amount of one or more polysaccharide molecules in said extract. Another aspect of the present invention relates to a coffee product obtained by the process of the present invention.

Yet another aspect of the present invention is to provide a coffee product having a dry weight content of mannan molecules below 13%.

Still another aspect of the present invention is to provide a container comprising the coffee product of the present invention.

Brief description of the figures

Figure 1 shows the effect of increasing centrifugal forces on foam volume of extracts: Reference (no centrifugal force; solid grey line); and low (long dashed line), medium (short dashed line) and strong (solid black line) centrifugal forces. Measurements were performed in triplicate and the mean of each triplicate was used for the graph. SDs of triplicates were below 0.8 mL. Table in Figure 1 shows the effect of time and centrifugal forces on the amount of recovered sediments.

Figure 2 shows the effect of enzymatic hydrolysis on foam volume of extracts: Reference (no hydrolysis; solid grey line); and short (dashed line), medium (dotted line) and long (solid black line) enzymatic treatment.

Figure 3 shows changes of molecular weight distribution of carbohydrates upon enzymatic hydrolysis: Reference (no hydrolysis; solid grey line); and short (dashed line), medium (dotted line) and long (solid black line) enzymatic treatment.

The present invention will now be described in more detail in the following. Detailed description of the invention

Definitions

Prior to discussing the present invention in further details, the following terms and conventions will first be defined :

Concentration sediments

In the context of the present invention, the term "concentration sediments" refers to aggregated matter comprising at least one species of polysaccharides molecules. The aggregated matter is formed during the concentration of a coffee extract. Upon concentration (e.g. in an evaporator), the concentration of solubilized polysaccharides molecules (e.g. mannan) changes from a dilute regime in which molecules hardly interact, to a semi-dilute concentration in which molecules are in contact and rearrange into aggregates which may harbor crystalline structures. The insoluble aggregated matter is referred to as

concentration sediments.

Polysaccharide molecules

Polysaccharides are polymeric carbohydrate structures, formed of repeating units (either mono- or di-saccharides) joined by glycosidic bonds. The structure of polysaccharides is often linear, but may also display various degrees of branching. Polysaccharides are often quite heterogeneous, containing slight modifications of the repeating unit. Depending on the structure, these macromolecules can have distinctive properties as compared to their monosaccharide building blocks. They may be amorphous or crystalline and become insoluble in water. In the present context the term "polysaccharide molecules" refers to polysaccharide molecules such as mannan and galactomannan, which significantly contribute to the formation of aggregates, crystallites and sedimentation of the same during the concentration of a coffee extract.

Mannan, galactomannan

Mannans are polysaccharides consisting of a mannose backbone. The backbone structure of mannan is (R→ 6)-a/alpha-D-Manp-(l→ 6)-a-D-Manp-(l→6)-a-D- Manp-(1→ R) where the mannanpyranose units are linked via 1-6 glycosidic bonds. Galactomannans are polysaccharides consisting of a mannose backbone with galactose side groups (more specifically, a (l-4)-linked β-D-mannopyranose backbone with branchpoints from their 6-positions linked to a-D-galactose, i.e. 1- 6-linked a-D-galactopyranose).

Melanoidins

Melanoidins are brown, heterogeneous polymers that are formed either by the Maillard reaction, when sugars and amino acids combine at high temperatures and low water activity or by autoxidation and polymerization of phenolic compounds. Melanoidins are commonly present in foods that have undergone some form of non-enzymatic browning. In the presence of phenolic compounds, as it is the case in coffee, both the Maillard reaction and the autoxidative processes contribute to the formation of melanoidins during heat treatment, e.g. roasting. Melanoidins may constitute up to 25% of the coffee beverages' dry weight.

Dry weight

The dry weight refers to the measurement of the mass of matter when completely dried and all fluids are completely removed from the matter. The dry weight % of a substance refers to the relative amount of said substance in the total dry weight matter. For example, if 100 grams (dry weight) matter, e.g. obtained from a coffee extract, contains 30 grams of mannan, then the dry weight% of mannan in said extract is 30%.

Total Solid Content (TC)

The total solid content (TC) refers to the mass of matter in a solution or a suspension. The TC of a coffee solution or suspension is defined as the weight (w) of the dried coffee residue expressed as a percentage of the original coffee solution or suspension in weight/weight percent (w/w%). Conversely, when preparing a coffee solution or suspension, it is the weight of the dry coffee powder (e.g. coffee extract) used to generate the coffee solution or suspension expressed in weight/weight percent (w/w%). For example, if 5 g (dry weight) of a coffee extract is used to generate 50g of a coffee solution, then the TC of this solution is 10% (w/w%).

It should be noted that embodiments and features described in the context of one of the aspects of the present invention also apply to the other aspects of the invention. All patent and non-patent references cited in the present application, are hereby incorporated by reference in their entirety. The invention will now be described in further details in the following non-limiting examples.

Process

The present inventors have found that concentration sediments negatively impact foam formation. In the process of manufacturing the coffee product, a coffee extract is typically subjected to a step of concentration. When the concentration of the extract reaches a total solid content (TC) of 50% (w/w%), mannan molecules aggregate into particles with an average size of 5μη"ΐ. Both the concentration and the size of these particles may affect coffee/air interfaces facilitating foam destabilization.

Accordingly, one aspect of the present inventions relates to a process of making a coffee product comprising the steps of:

(i) providing a coffee extract,

(ii) reducing the total amount of one or more polysaccharide molecules in said extract.

In particular, one aspect of the invention relates to a process of making a coffee product having increased foam volume and/or stability upon reconstitution said coffee product, said method comprising the steps of:

(i) providing a coffee extract,

(ii) reducing the total amount of one or more polysaccharide molecules in said extract. The process of the present invention solves the posed problem by preventing the formation of aggregates comprising polysaccharides and/or by removing aggregates formed during the manufacturing process involving a step of concentrating a coffee extract (e.g . using an evaporator). A coffee beverage is generally produced in three steps involving roasting of the green beans, grinding of the roasted beans and then extraction of the coffee components from the ground beans. The coffee grounds are typically extracted with water and/or steam under specific temperature and pressure gradients according to soluble coffee manufacturing processes known to the person skilled in the art. The formation of aggregates typically occurs during the concentration of coffee extract in the process of manufacturing said coffee extract to the final coffee product. The present invention is applicable to the process comprising a step of concentrating said coffee extract e.g. by evaporation. Accordingly, in one embodiment of the present invention, the process further comprises at least one step of concentrating said coffee extract. In another embodiment, said at least one step of concentrating said coffee extract is a step of evaporation.

The coffee extract employed by the process of the invention is typically obtained by hot extraction of roasted and ground coffee beans. Hot extraction is generally performed at a temperature in the range of 110 to 200°C, for example 140 to 200°C, such as in the range of 150 to 190°C, preferably in the range of 150 to 180°C. Thus, in one embodiment of the present invention, the coffee extract provided in step (i) is obtained by hot extraction. In another, the coffee extract provided in step (i) is in liquid form (e.g. an aqueous coffee extract). Preferably, the coffee extract provided in step (i) does not include coffee spent grounds. It should be noted that coffee spent grounds do not fall within the definition of aggregated polysaccharides (or concentration sediments) in the context of the present invention. It follows that the step of reducing the total amount of one or more polysaccharide molecules in said extract is preferably performed after conducting a hot extraction to obtain said coffee extract. Thus, in one

embodiment, step (ii) is performed after said hot extraction.

In one embodiment, the coffee extract provided in step (i) is an extract of green coffee beans, roasted coffee beans or a mixture thereof.

The term "one or more polysaccharide molecules" in the coffee extract refers to polysaccharide molecules present in the coffee extract, which significantly contribute to the formation of aggregates and sedimentation of the same during the concentration of said coffee extract. Polysaccharides that significantly contribute to the formation of aggregates include mannan and galactomannan. Unsubstituted mannans are in particular prone to aggregation. It is understood that the term "one of more" implies that one species of polysaccharide molecules may be selected or several species of polysaccharide molecules may

independently be selected.

Thus, in one preferred embodiment, said one or more polysaccharide molecules is mannan, galactomannan or a combination thereof. In another preferred

embodiment, said one or more polysaccharide molecules is β (1-4) mannan. In a further preferred embodiment, said one or more polysaccharide molecules is galactomannan. In a more preferred embodiment, said one or more

polysaccharide molecules is an unsubstituted mannan.

The total amount of one or more polysaccharide molecules in the coffee extract may be reduced in various ways. In one approach, the one or more

polysaccharide molecules in the coffee extract are removed from the extract in the form of aggregates comprising said polysaccharide molecules. The aggregates are typically identified as sediments appearing during the process of concentration of the coffee extract (referred to as concentration sediments). Thus, in one embodiment of the present invention, the reduction of the amount of

polysaccharide molecules in said extract is performed by reducing the amount of aggregated polysaccharide molecules present in said extract. In a preferred embodiment, said aggregated polysaccharide molecules comprise a

polysaccharide selected from mannan and galactomannan. At least part of the aggregates may be in the form of crystalline mannans or galactomannans, which are highly insoluble.

Thus, in one embodiment of the present invention, the reduction of the total amount of mannan or galactomannan molecules in said extract is performed by reducing the amount of β (1-4) mannan (crystalline) aggregates or

galactomannan (crystalline) aggregates in said extract. In a preferred

embodiment, the aggregated polysaccharides molecules are present in the form of sediment. As discussed herein, the mannans and galactomannans contribute significantly to the formation of aggregates during the concentration step. In one embodiment of the present invention, the aggregates or sediments comprise more than 20%, such as more than 30%, for example more than 40% mannans, galactomannans or a combination thereof (dry weight %).

Although mannans and/or galactomannans amount a significant part of the aggregates/sediment, other molecules may be present in significant amounts as well. These molecules may not be determinants for aggregate formation but may be included in aggregates in a passive way. One example of molecules that are typically found in significant amounts in the aggregates or sediments are the melanoidins. Thus, in one embodiment, the aggregates or sediments further comprise melanoidins. In a preferred embodiment said sediments further comprise melanoidins in the range of 1 to 30%, such as in the range of 2 to 20%, preferably in the range of 3 to 15%, such as in the range of 4 to 10% (dry weight %).

In one embodiment of the present invention, the amount of aggregated

polysaccharides molecules in said extract is reduced by means of centrifugation. Although preferred, high speed centrifugation is not readily applied for industrial scale production. The centrifugal force of industrial centrifuges is typically in the range of 2000 g . Thus in one embodiment, the centrifugation is performed at 2000 g or more. In another embodiment, centrifugation is performed at 6000 g or in the proximity thereof. Since the aggregated polysaccharides molecules (and thus sediments) are essentially formed during the process of concentrating the coffee extract, it follows that the said centrifugation is preferably performed after concentrating said coffee extract. Example 1 (Figure 1) demonstrates the effect of removing the aggregated polysaccharides molecules (concentration sediments) by centrifugation. The removal of the aggregated polysaccharides at low centrifugal force may be facilitated by increasing the temperature of the extract.

Alternatively or in addition to the above mentioned centrifugation, the amount of aggregated polysaccharides molecules in said extract is reduced by enzymatic degradation or hydrolysis. In the event the aggregated polysaccharides molecules comprise mannans, the extract comprising the aggregated polysaccharides may be treated with a mannanase. Example 1 (Figure 2) demonstrates the effect of subjecting the coffee extract to enzymatic hydrolysis. Enzymatic hydrolysis improves the foaming properties of the coffee product. Extended enzymatic hydrolysis leads to a significant increase of foam volume. The effect of extended hydrolysis on the molecular weight profile is shown in Figure 3, where the molecular weight distribution profile of coffee carbohydrates is shifted towards lower molecular weights.

In one embodiment, the amount of aggregated polysaccharides molecules in said coffee extract provided in step (i) is reduced by means of centrifugation and enzymatic degradation of the aggregated polysaccharides molecules.

The aggregated polysaccharides are typically present in the form of particles having an average size of 5 Mm. In one embodiment the reduction of

polysaccharide molecules is therefore obtained by removing aggregated

polysaccharide molecules having a average particle size of about 2 μηη and above, such as an average particle size of 3 Mm and above, for example an average particle size of 4 Mm and above, preferably an average particle size of 5 Mm and above.

Another approach to reduce the amount of aggregated polysaccharides molecules formed during the concentration of the coffee extract is to reduce the total amount of one or more polysaccharide molecules in said extract in order to obtain an amount where the polysaccharides molecules do not tend to form aggregates, e.g. during a further step of concentrating the extract. The amount of

polysaccharides in the extract may be reduced by various ways including hydrolysis and/or enzymatic degradation of said molecules.

Accordingly, in one embodiment of the present invention, the amount of polysaccharide molecules in said extract is reduced by enzymatic hydrolysis of said molecules. It follows that in order to prevent formation of the aggregates, the reduction of the polysaccharide molecules is preferably performed prior to the step of concentration of said coffee extract. Thus in one further embodiment, said molecules are partially hydrolyzed by enzymes before concentration of said extract. The amount of polysaccharide molecules may be reduced by means of enzymatic degradation/hydrolysis. In one embodiment, the said hydrolysis is enzymatic hydrolysis. In a preferred embodiment, the coffee extract is treated with mannanase. As discussed herein, the present inventors have found that concentration sediments negatively impact foam formation.

However, the effect of mannans and galactomannans is dual. If present in higher amount during the manufacturing of the coffee product, the mannans and galactomannans form foam antagonizing aggregates/particles. At lower amount in the coffee product, mannans and galactomannans contribute to the foam stability by reducing the surface tension of the coffee product upon reconstitution.

Mannans and/or galactomannans are therefore preferably not fully depleted from the coffee product.

Accordingly, the reduction in the amount of polysaccharides molecules (mannans and galactomannans) seeks to maintain foam contributing activity and outweigh the antagonizing properties of the molecules when forming aggregates. In one embodiment of the present invention, wherein the concentration of mannan molecules in said extract following step (ii) is below 13% (dry weight %), such as below 12%, for example below 11%, such as below 10%, for example below 9% (dry weight %). In one embodiment of the present invention, the concentration of mannan molecules in said extract following step (ii) is in the range of 4.5 to 13% (dry weight %), such as in the range of 6 to 11%, for example in the range of 8 to 10% (dry weight %). In a preferred embodiment of the present invention, the concentration of mannan molecules in said extract following step (ii) is below 8% (dry weight %), such as below 6%, below 4.5% (dry weight %).

It follows that in preferred embodiments the total content of mannan (and/or galactomannan) molecules in coffee product obtained by the process of the present invention is below the amount that would cause aggregate formation during the manufacturing process. As discussed herein mannan and/or

galactomannan molecules are not fully depleted from the coffee product obtained from the process since during the process of concentration a significant amount of mannans and galactomannans remain in solution.

In one embodiment of the present invention, the total content of mannan molecules in said coffee product is below 13% (dry weight %). In another embodiment, the total content of mannan molecules in said coffee product is in the range of 4.5 to 13% (dry weight %). In a further embodiment, the content of mannan molecules in said coffee product is below 4.5% % (dry weight %). The process of the present invention may be applied for the manufacturing of various types of coffee products. In one embodiment, said coffee product is a soluble coffee product. In another embodiment, said coffee product is in the form of a water-soluble powder or granulate. In a further embodiment, said coffee product is in a liquid form.

One embodiment of the present invention concerns the process of making a coffee product, wherein said coffee products is a coffee product selected from the list consisting of instant coffee, instant espresso coffee, and coffee mixes, coffee mixtures, mixes of roast and ground coffee and instant coffee, ready-to-drink coffee beverages.

In a preferred embodiment the invention concerns a method for producing a powdered soluble coffee product which can form crema when dissolved in a liquid . A coffee product that can form crema may e.g. be produced by ibnjecting a gas into a concentrated coffee extract before spray drying the concentrated extract. Such methods are disclosed in WO 2009/040249 and EP 0839457. Accordingly, in one embodiment, the present invention relates to a process of making a coffee product comprising the steps of: providing a coffee extract, reducing the total amount of one or more polysaccharide molecules in said extract, e.g . by centrifugation or enzymatic hydrolysis, concentrating said extract, e.g. by evaporation, injecting a gas into said concentrated extract, and spray drying said extract after gas injection. If enzymatic hydrolysis is performed, it is performed before concentration of the extract. If centrifugation is used, it is performed after concentration of the extract. For all of the preparations described herein, the coffee product (the end product of the process) can also be used in combination with one or more other ingredients such as flavors, milk, creamers, chicory, cereals and sugar. Coffee product

The present invention also provides coffee products obtained by the process of the invention. Thus, one aspect of the present invention relates to a coffee product obtained by the process of the present invention. Yet another aspect of the present invention is to provide a coffee product having a total content of mannan molecules below 13% (dry weight %). In a preferred embodiment, the total content of mannan molecules is in the range of 4.5 to 13% (dry weight %). In yet another preferred embodiment, the concentration of mannan molecules is below 4.5% (dry weight %).

The coffee products of the invention may be provided in the form a soluble coffee product. The coffee products of the invention may be in the form of a water- soluble powder or granulate. The coffee products of the invention may be in a liquid form, such a coffee concentrate. In one embodiment, the coffee products is a coffee product selected from the list consisting of instant coffee, instant espresso coffee, and coffee mixes, coffee mixtures, mixes of roast and ground coffee and instant coffee, ready-to-drink coffee beverages.

Still another aspect of the present invention is to provide a container comprising the coffee product of the present invention. The container may be in various forms depending on the application and nature of the content. In one embodiment, the container is a capsule.

Examples

Example 1

The impact of coffee crema by the removal of mannan sediments using two different approaches was investigated. One approach consisted in the physical removal of the sediments by applying different centrifugation conditions and the other approach consisted in the enzymatic removal of the sediments by applying different enzymatic hydrolysis conditions.

Soluble coffee was produced by extraction of roast and ground coffee beans by methods generally known in the art of producing soluble coffee, involving extraction temperatures up to 170°C. The coffee extract was concentrated by evaporation, by methods generally known in the art of producing soluble coffee. The concentrated extracts were dried by spray drying, wherein gas was injected into the extract before spraying to produce a porous powder able to produce crema upon dissolution, using the method disclosed in WO 2009/040249. In the experiments with enzymatic hydrolysis, this was performed on the extract before evaporation; in the experiments where centrifugation was used, centrifugation of the coffee extract was performed after evaporation. Figure 1 (including table) shows the effects of concentration sediments' removal by centrifugation on coffee foamability and sediment levels. Three centrifugal forces were applied for a period of either one or ten minutes: Low (6000g), as used at industrial scale, medium (9500g) and strong (48000g) centrifugal forces. The last two values, which are difficult to achieve at industrial scale, were chosen in order to have, respectively, a partial and an almost complete removal of sediments.

Figure 2 and Figure 3 show the effect of concentration sediments' removal by enzymatic hydrolysis on coffee foamability and carbohydrate molecular weight profiles. Four enzymatic hydrolysis conditions were investigated : Reference (no hydrolysis; solid grey line); and short (dashed line), medium (dotted line) and long (solid black line) hydrolysis times. Mannanase was used as hydrolytic enzyme to assess the role of mannan hydrolysis on foam volume. Key findings of the experiments:

Maximal initial foam volume was obtained when the amount of removed sediments was maximal.

Strongest centrifugation condition (48000g for 10 min) leads to highest foam volume and maximal sediment removal. Longer hydrolysis times (10 min versus 1 min) lead to increased foam volumes and to a clear shift of carbohydrates' molecular weights profile of towards smaller molecular weights.

Above a total solid content (TC) of 20%, hydrolysis is impaired most probably due to the increased viscosity of the extract.

Taken together, the data demonstrate that removal of mannan sediments increases coffee foamability. Maximal initial foam volume was obtained when the amount of removed sediments was maximal. Strong centrifugation conditions (48000g for 10 min; 20% TC) are required for maximal removal of concentration sediments. Long hydrolysis times on diluted extract (20% TC) are preferred for maximal removal of concentration sediments.