Before you dispose of your morning tea leaves or coffee grounds, consider this: recent studies hint there’s more value in those remnants than you might think.
A recent investigation by scientists at King Faisal University in Saudi Arabia has unveiled that incorporating spent coffee grounds or tea leaves into your cake mixture can not only enrich its nutritional profile but also prolong its freshness.
Both tea and coffee rank as global favorites, offering many individuals a daily intake of antioxidants, anti-inflammatory agents, fiber, and some bioactive elements promoting cognitive and heart health.
However, the common practice of preparing these beverages is not eco-friendly. After the brewing process, nearly 90% of the resultant waste finds its way to landfills. In the drive to address this wastage, scientists have been experimenting with innovative uses for these residues.
A recent study illustrated that integrating charred coffee grounds into cement can augment its strength by up to 30%. However, the potential applications extend beyond construction. Past research has proposed enriching foods with tea and coffee residues.
For example, in 2020, a study looked at infusing gluten-free cookies with used coffee grounds to elevate their nutritional content. Come 2023, another experiment introduced green tea to cupcakes, examining if the baked treats retained the beneficial flavonoids from the tea leaves – compounds renowned for their potential anti-inflammatory, antioxidant, antiviral, and anticancer attributes.
The latest study takes inspiration from previous works, delving into whether used tea or coffee can maintain its antioxidant properties post-boiling and grinding, and whether this residue can elevate a cake’s nutrient profile or longevity.
The research found that after steeping black tea and Arabic coffee in boiling distilled water for 10 minutes, the desiccated remnants retained a significant proportion of their phenolic elements, inclusive of flavonoids.
For example, the processed tea preserved up to 73% of a potent antioxidant named theaflavin trigallate, beneficial for individuals dealing with conditions like obesity, high cholesterol, or cardiac issues.
Conversely, the spent coffee grounds conserved almost 64% of another antioxidant, 1-caffeoylquinic acid, also known for its health perks. Impressively, these antioxidants remained active even post-baking.
In comparison to standard sponge cakes, those enhanced with coffee or tea showcased elevated levels of phenols and essential minerals such as calcium, phosphorus, potassium, and magnesium.
Furthermore, after being stored for a fortnight, these nutrient-enriched cakes displayed fewer microbial traces than their regular counterparts, potentially owing to certain antioxidants’ bacteria-inhibiting properties.
These intriguing discoveries hint at the prospect of using spent coffee or tea as a sustainable method to extend baked goods’ shelf life while concurrently amplifying their nutritional value. So, the next time you enjoy your morning brew, you might want to reserve the remnants for a culinary experiment later on.