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March 29, 1890


JAMA. 1890;XIV(13):456. doi:10.1001/jama.1890.02410130024002

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Antiseptic Property of Coffee.  —It has been lately shown by Lüderitz, from a series of experiments conducted by him in the Berlin Institute of Hygiene, that coffee as a drink (infusion) possesses very decided antiseptic properties. Several different forms of bacteria were experimented on, and their growth was found in all cases to be interfered with by the addition of a small quantity of coffee infusion to nutrient gelatine. In pure infusion the bacteria were rapidly destroyed. The question as to what constituents exercise the antiseptic action cannot yet be answered. The caffein is certainly only active to a slight degree, the tannic acid to a greater extent, but probably of greatest importance are substances which are formed during roasting. It is interesting to note that a cup of coffee left lying in a room remains almost free from microorganisms for a week or more.—Berlin Klin. Woch.

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