Molecule of the Week

Chlorogenic acid

June 10, 2013

Chlorogenic acid is an ester formed from caffeic acid and L-quinic acid. Despite its name, it contains no chlorine atoms; scientists created the name after they observed that the acid turns the green color of chlorine gas when oxidized. An important factor in plant metabolism, it was first isolated from coffee beans in 1920 by K. Freudenberg. Chlorogenic acid and its isomers also occur in the fruit, leaves, and other tissues of dicotyledenous plants.

The chlorogenic acids in coffee beans are destroyed when the beans are roasted. But J. A. Vinson and colleagues at the University of Scranton (PA) recently found that consuming the chlorogenic acid–rich extracts of green coffee beans promotes weight loss and improves glucose tolerance in humans.

[Even though the use of chlorogenic acids for weight loss appears to be in the developmental phase, DietWorks (Caldwell, NJ) is marketing a green coffee bean extract dietary supplement that it calls “a clinically tested weight management formula”.—Ed.]

More about this molecule from CAS, the most authoritative and comprehensive source for chemical information.