Tag Archives: science

Starbucks Making Laundry Detergent From Coffee Grinds and Muffins

Starbucks is getting greener all the time. They are flirting with a new recycling process that will turn coffee grinds and muffins into laundry detergent and bio plastics.

This mission is being lead by scientists at the City University of Hong Kong and is being tested at a new food ‘biorefinery,’ that diverts food waste and transforms it into viable, usable products.

The biorefinery process involves combining the baked goods with a mixture of fungi that help break down the carbohydrates into simple sugars. Its fermented in a vat where bacteria turns the sugars into succinic acid which is a material used to produce everything from laundry detergent, plastic, to medicine. The baked goods can be used to create livestock feed.

The Starbucks in Hong Kong itself currently produces around 5000 tons of coffee and pastry waste each year, which currently ends up in either incinerated, composted or disposed of in landfills.

Coffee May Decrease Risk of Neck and Head Cancers

A new study in the journal Cancer Epidemiology, Biomarkers & Prevention has shown that coffee drinkers have another reason to celebrate!  Coffee may decrease the risk of neck and head cancers.

In this study, scientists looked at the results of nine previous cancer/caffeine studies (using coffee and tea) to come up with their findings.  Results show that those who drink a lot of joe have a lower rate of head and neck cancer.  In each of the pooled studies the participants with cancer were compared to healthy persons in the general populations and hospitalized persons who did not have cancer.  Overall the rate of cancer was 12% lower in people who drank coffee as compared to their no-joe counterparts.  This number comes after taking into account certain other factors such as cigarette smoking.

The more you drink, the better!  The study found that those who consumed more than four cups a day had their risk of cancer reduced by more than a third.

For cancer of the voice box, or larynx, coffee didn’t seem to play a role; nor did tea or decaffeinated coffee for any type of head and neck cancer.

The data does not conclusively prove that coffee itself protects against cancer. There could be other factors associated with coffee drinking that explain the lower cancer risk, or cancer sufferers might have decreased their coffee intake for some reason.  “Besides caffeine, coffee contains more than a thousand chemicals,” the researchers reported in the journal Cancer Epidemiology, Biomarkers & Prevention, adding that the compounds cafestol and kahweol may be protective against carcinogens that would normally damage our genes.

The odds of getting this type of cancer are slim.   In the U.S., only about 1 in 10,000 develops the disease every year.

SOURCE: http://cebp.aacrjournals.org/ Cancer Epidemiology, Biomarkers & Prevention, June 22, 2010

Free Iced Coffee Today 5/11/10 at Dunkin’ Donuts

Today is Dunkin Donut’s 60th birthday and they are celebrating by giving away free iced coffee in some of their cities.

Baltimore, Md.; Charlottesville, Va.; Cleveland, Ohio; Harrisonburg, Va.; Norfolk, Va.; Washington, D.C.; Youngstown, Ohio; Pittsburgh, Pa.; Richmond, Va.; Roanoke, Va.; Salisbury, Md.; Philadelphia, Pa.; and Phoenix, Ariz.

The free iced coffee is also available in New York City, but only from 4 p.m. to 10 p.m.

According to the Christian Science Monitor, this is causing a controversy in the cities where the iced treat is not being offered free and the feelings of those excluded from the promotion are being posted on Dunkin Donut’s facebook page.

Heartburn and Coffee Issues?

Coffee is loved nationwide.  However, some people have problems enjoying it because of it gives them heartburn.  I too have had this problem.   was able to find a stomach friendly coffee at www.honeybean.comthat helped me.  Its called Cophee and is a reduced acid coffee.  A lot of people suffer from this, enough that a study has been done.

European scientists have discovered a chemical in coffee that actually inhibits acid production in the stomach.  They found this while doing research on the stomach-irritating chemicals in coffee.

“The major import of our work is that it provides scientific evidence that you can produce a more stomach-friendly coffee by varying the processing technology,” said study author Veronika Somoza, professor and chair of the Research Platform of Molecular Food Science at the University of Vienna, Austria.

The results of this study were presented yesterday at the American Chemical’s Society annual meeting in San Francisco. 

The scientists looked at coffee’s effect on human stomach cells using a variety of preparations, including dark-roast, regular roast, decaffeinated and stomach-friendly. Instead of one single element, they identified a mixture of compounds — caffeine, catechols and N-alkanoly-5-hydroxytriptamides — as the chemicals in coffee that promote the production of stomach acid.

But a fourth chemical, N-methylpyridinium, which is more common in dark roasts, such as espresso and French roast blends, was found to inhibit acid.

N-methylpyridinium is a product of the roasting process itself, resulting in dark roasts that are less likely than lighter ones to cause stomach irritation, according to the research.

In furthering this research, the scientist plan on experimenting on human coffee drinkers to see if these findings translatete into real life coffee drnkers. 

Dr. Joseph Vinson, a professor of chemistry at the University of Scranton in Pennsylvania who has studied the antioxidant properties of coffee, said the study suggests the possibility of a less troublesome brew.

“Cell studies can be legitimate. They can lead to human studies that will say the same thing,” said Vinson. “She [Somoza] has figured out a research approach that is one way to do it, and it’s a question of whether it is relevant to the human realm.”

Vinson predicted it will be.

“There’s more than enough data [in the study] to make it interesting,” said Vinson. “There can be this special coffee that doesn’t bother you.”

Coffee Not Linked to Tinnitus

For decades people have believed that there is a negative link between tinnitus, which is ringing in the ear, and coffee  consumption.  Namely, many people believed that drinking coffee could cause increased ringing in the ear. In fact, if you suffer from tinnitus and stop drinking coffee, your problem might just get worse according to the Researchers at Bristol University’s Center for Hearing and Balance.

Dr. Lindsay St. Clare, the head researcher,told
ScienceDaily that the studies dismissed the correlation between coffee and tinnitus. “With almost 85 per cent of adults in the world consuming caffeine daily, we wanted to challenge the claim that caffeine makes tinnitus worse. Many professionals support caffeine withdrawal as a tinnitus therapy, even though there is a lack of any relevant evidence, and, in fact, acute symptoms of caffeine withdrawal might even make tinnitus worse.” St. Clare said.

So, go head and have a latte!

Caffeine Free Coffee Plant

Would you like decaf?  How about an uncaffinated coffee plant?  A new caffeine free coffee plant from Camaroon, has been named one of 10 top new species for 2008. 

To read more about the top new species please visit the link below.

http://www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2009/05/090522122314.htm