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Title: Detection and quantification of caffeine in the coffee industry using imprinted polymers and bare carbon electrodes
Author: Redivo, Luca
ISNI:       0000 0004 7654 133X
Awarding Body: Queen Mary University of London
Current Institution: Queen Mary, University of London
Date of Award: 2018
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Food quality control is a mandatory task in the food industry, and for coffee manufacturers, one of the key target compounds is caffeine, because of its well-known biological effects and currently expensive analytical methods are employed for caffeine quantification. This project was thought with the aim of developing a cost-effective caffeine sensor for application in industrial environments. Two main approaches were investigated: i) the use of imprinted polymers; ii) electrochemical using bare carbon electrodes. Chapter 1 is the main introduction, it focuses on the importance of food quality control, the limitation of the methodologies currently employed and it presents the advantages of using imprinted polymers recognition and electrochemistry signal transduction. Chapter 2 presents data related to studies of self-association of caffeine in water using a novel computational approach. The wider applicability of the method was assessed by studying self-association of paraxanthine and the results were validated via a collaboration with Miss R. Anastasiadi who employed isothermal titration calorimetry. Chapter 3 describes the synthesis of MIPs in water, starting with the selection of the functional monomers: HPTS (8-hydroxypyrene-1,3,6-trisulfonic acid, trisodium salt). The polymerisation conditions were optimised in terms of solvent to be used, initiator content, temperature and total monomer concentration. Afterwards, the polymers were synthesised, characterised, and preliminary data on the rebinding ability towards caffeine were presented. Chapter 4 focuses on electrochemical methods for the detection of caffeine using bare carbon electrodes. A voltammetric method for accurate determination of caffeine in beverages was developed. Based on the encouraging results obtained, further studies on the applicability of electrochemical methods for coffee quality analysis were done. A second method was developed for simultaneous detection of caffeine and polyphenols and an amperometric chemosensor for sucrose determination was acquired and its applicability for the analysis of green coffee beans was evaluated.
Supervisor: Not available Sponsor: European Union
Qualification Name: Thesis (Ph.D.) Qualification Level: Doctoral
EThOS ID:  DOI: Not available
Keywords: Biological and Chemical Science ; Food quality control ; coffee ; Caffeine ; imprinted polymers recognition ; electrochemistry signal transduction