Genotoxicity of instant coffee: Possible involvement of phenolic compounds

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Instant coffee exhibits direct genotoxic activity in the tester strains TA 98, 100, 102, 104 and YG 1024. In the Ames tester strain TA 100, the presence of S9 mix, S100 mix, S9 mix without cofactors led to a significant decrease of the genotoxicity observed. The decrease observed in the presence of S9 mix seems to be highly correlated with the catalase content of S9 mix. The genotoxicity of instant coffee detected in strain TA 100 was dependent on the pH, with higher genotoxic effects at pH values above neutrality. Also, dependent on the pH was the ability of some phenolic molecules present in coffee promoting the degradation of deoxyribose in the presence of Fe3+/EDTA. These results suggest that apart from other molecules present in instant coffee responsible for their genotoxicity in several short term assays, phenolic molecules could also be implicated in the genotoxicity of coffee, via reactive oxygen species arising from its auto-oxidation. Copyright (C) 1999 Elsevier Science B.V.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)43-51
Number of pages9
JournalMutation Research - Genetic Toxicology and Environmental Mutagenesis
Issue number1
Publication statusPublished - 7 Jun 1999


  • Coffee
  • Mutagenicity
  • Oxygen species
  • Polyphenol


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