Before it is harvested and roasted to bring out the dark colour, bold flavour and rich aroma that it is most famous for, all coffee starts out as a little green bean. These green beans are therefore known as the immature coffee seeds. Green coffee seeds contain volatile and non-volatile compounds that deter many animals and insects away from eating them and it is these compounds that contribute to the coffee's flavour when roasted. The green coffee beans contain alkaloids, proteins, amino acids, carbohydrates, lipids, chlorogenic acids and other volatile compounds.
The main element of the unroasted bean is its high level of the chemical chlorogenic acid. Roasting the beans breaks down this particular acid, which is why the extract is taken from the coffee bean before roasting. It is this chlorogenic acid, combined with caffeine, that is said to hold all of green coffee bean's health benefits for heart disease, diabetes and weight loss.
This chlorogenic acid (CGA) is a natural chemical compound and antioxidant that is best known for slowing the release of glucose into the bloodstream after meals. Its name comes from the Greek for ?light green' because of the green colour that is produced when chlorogenic acids are oxidised. Structurally, it is formed between caffeic acid and L-quinic acid and is also known as a main phenol in the green coffee bean.
Green coffee bean extract has recently become a new phenomenon in the weight loss world, due to claims that it can burn fat quickly. Its content of chlorogenic acid is now known as a health promoting substance that helps to burn calories, reduce body fat percentage, lower cholesterol and encourage the slow release of sugars.