Nicole Ottawa

Photograph by

Coffea : 2012

About this image

Coloured scanning electron micrograph of the cells of a coffee bean. Coffee is made from the beans of the coffee plant (Coffea sp.). This part of the sample is about 30 micrometres wide. The sample was prepared by freeze fracturing, rapidly freezing the sample with liquid nitrogen such that tissues are instantly preserved. If the sample is broken, the inner structures are revealed. Here the fractured edges of cell walls are seen as grey. Inside the cells are small particles of oil. During the roasting process the oils are concentrated and converted to caffeol, responsible for the characteristic aroma and flavour. The oil particles also contain the caffeine in solution. This image was created in monochrome then digitally colourised. Eye of Science, Reutlingen, Germany