March 3, 2022

Caffeoylquinic acids (CQAs)

Caffeoylquinic acids (CQAs) are phenolic acids – esters of polyphenolic caffeic acid with quinic acid – are specialized bioactive metabolites derived from the phenylpropanoid biosynthesis pathway.

Caffeoylquinic acids and particularly 5-CQA (5-O-caffeoylquinic acid) are found to be the most abundant compounds in coffee beans, where they can form vacuolar complexes with caffeine. This compound exhibits anti-obesity property, by improving the lipid metabolism in mice.
Sweetpotato phenolics were first isolated by Rudkin and Nelson (1947), who identified chlorogenic acid and related compounds. Caffeic acid, and the caffeoylquinic acid derivatives, chlorogenic and isochlorogenic acids, accumulated in wounded tissue or in response to infection by the black rot fungus.

Caffeoylquinic acids are cinnamate conjugates derived from the phenylpropanoid pathway. They are generally involved in plant responses to biotic and abiotic stress.

Since Caffeoylquinic acids (CQAs) contribute to acidity, astringency, and bitterness of the brewed coffee, they are relevant to sensorial properties of the beverage.

Caffeoylquinic acids (CQAs) compounds are widespread in plants. They protect plants against predation and infection and may have several beneficial functions in the human diet.

Esters formed between hydroxycinnamates and quinic acid represent a major family of plant phenolics. Chlorogenic acid (5-CQA) is the most widespread of all monoesters formed between caffeic and quinic acids.

Humans consume CQAs in mg-to-gram quantities through dietary consumption of plant products. CQAs are considered beneficial for human health, mainly due to their anti-inflammatory and antioxidant properties.

Due to their antioxidant and antibiotic properties, hydroxycinnamoylquinic acids are involved in numerous biological plant functions such as pest and disease resistance. The Caffeoylquinic acids (CQAs) are among numerous phenolic compounds found in plants that are thought to function in defense against predation and parasitism.

Accumulated evidence demonstrates that CQAs have a wide range of biological activities, such as antioxidation, antibacterial, antiparasitic, neuroprotective, anticancer, antiviral, and antidiabetic effects.

Other potential beneficial effects of caffeoylquinic acid compounds on humans that have been demonstrated in laboratory studies include anti-inflammatory activity; reduced skin aging by inhibiting the enzyme, collagenase; anti-spasmodic activity; antihyperglycemic activity; suppression of melanogenesis.

CQAs were recently linked to memory improvement; they seem to be strong indirect antioxidants via Nrf2 activation.

In coffee trees, hydroxycinnamoylquinic acids accumulate in beans. This is particularly marked in Coffea canephora where their content can exceed 10 % of dry bean weight.
Caffeoylquinic acids (CQAs)

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