Comprised in everything we eat and drink are nutrients that our bodies need survive. Fatty acids are found in just about everything we consume and are sources of energy as well as components of our cell membranes. Fatty acids are comprised of a hydrophilic head group and hydrophobic tails that are either saturated or unsaturated. Unsaturated fatty acids are considered to be better for your overall health while saturated fatty acids tend to cause problems with cholesterol levels and increase risks of heart disease. Research has shown that coffee grounds go through a grinding and brewing and during that process some fatty acids are lost. This goal of this experiment was to quantify the amount of fatty acids found in coffee beans versus those found in grounds. Due to its popularity, Starbucks Veranda Blend Light Roast Coffee was used for this experiment. An extraction was done on spent coffee grounds to collect the remaining fatty acids. Once isolated, a transesterification reaction was used to convert them into fatty acid esters. This allowed for better analysis of the products. IR and C13 NMR were used to characterize the products and a comparison was made between coffee beans and coffee grounds.


Piedmont Natural Science Department Honors

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