Mold-free coffee

Selecting the right coffee, cupping methods, Sweet Maria's reviews, Green Bean storage

Mold-free coffee

Postby joeburge » Wed Oct 17, 2012 2:00 pm

I have been reading about an interesting coffee recipe and he says most coffee beans are processed in such a manner that they encourage mold and fermentation in the bean. Is this true? Does S.M. have a recommendation how to get a coffee that has been processed without fermentation or encouraging mold growth? Is this just an urban-legend to sell a certain brand?
Thanks
joeburge
Green Bean
Green Bean
 
Posts: 3
Joined: Sat Jun 13, 2009 9:32 am

Re: Mold-free coffee

Postby Sweet Maria's » Thu Oct 18, 2012 9:34 am

Hey Joe, the coffees itself doesn't ferment, fermentation in the Wet Process is the process of soaking the parchment in water over a period of around 12-24 hrs in order to remove the mucilage of the coffee fruit. The coffee itself does not ferment, just the enzymatic reaction breaks down the mucilage. It is usually the result of improper drying of a coffee that mold occurs. After coffee's moister level has stabilized to under 12%, then it's ready for shipment. If coffee were moved before this stabilization, mold could occur, or if the green coffee were exposed to a significant amount of moisture, then it would occur. If the green is protected and stored correctly, you won't get any molding. Any molded coffee would be outright rejected long before it ever made it into the Sweet Maria's warehouse. I'd be curious to read this article, can you post a link?

- chris schooley
- - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - -
sweet maria's coffee, west oakland, california.
User avatar
Sweet Maria's
Site Admin
Site Admin
 
Posts: 580
Joined: Wed Jan 21, 2009 3:30 pm
Location: oakland, ca

Re: Mold-free coffee

Postby joeburge » Thu Oct 18, 2012 9:55 am

http://www.bulletproofexec.com/coffee/

"Most coffee beans are processed by either leaving them in the sun and elements to wither and dry, or by pressing them and letting them ferment (spoil) to remove the outer layer of the bean. Both of these techniques are known to produce significant levels of mycotoxins as they enhance flavor. Upgraded Coffee beans are mechanically processed right after picking using only clean cold water. This more expensive process is safer because it dramatically reduces harmful molds or bacteria from impacting your health."
joeburge
Green Bean
Green Bean
 
Posts: 3
Joined: Sat Jun 13, 2009 9:32 am

Re: Mold-free coffee

Postby Sweet Maria's » Thu Oct 18, 2012 10:53 am

Basically what they are describing is the pulped-natural process developed in Brazil in the early 90's. There is some equipment from Colombia, Aquapulpers, that do something similar. It is more about water efficiency. It's more expensive because of the equipment, but it's actually a lot more cost effective and can improve sorting and water efficiency. This claim about the molds and bacteria is ludicrous though. That altitude on the farm isn't really the greatest Guatemala has to offer either. These are some interesting claims. I can assure you that you have nothing to worry about mold or bacteria wise.

- chris shcooley
- - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - -
sweet maria's coffee, west oakland, california.
User avatar
Sweet Maria's
Site Admin
Site Admin
 
Posts: 580
Joined: Wed Jan 21, 2009 3:30 pm
Location: oakland, ca

Re: Mold-free coffee

Postby kuzia60 » Wed Jan 02, 2013 4:18 pm

[quote="Basically what they are describing is the pulped-natural process developed in Brazil in the early 90's. There is some equipment from Colombia, Aquapulpers, that do something similar. It is more about water efficiency. It's more expensive because of the equipment, but it's actually a lot more cost effective and can improve sorting and water efficiency. This claim about the molds and bacteria is ludicrous though. That altitude on the farm isn't really the greatest Guatemala has to offer either. These are some interesting claims. I can assure you that you have nothing to worry about mold or bacteria wise.

- chris shcooley[/quote]

Hi Chris,

Mold and mycotoxins in/on coffee are a very big problem worldwide. The OP's post about the dangers of the mold on coffee, as well as the statement from the bulletproofexecutive is far from ludicrous. It is fact.

Below is some information supporting what I am saying:

http://www.fao.org/ag/magazine/0607sp1.htm
ftp://ftp.fao.org/ag/agn/coffee/guidelines_final_en.pdf (these are the guidelines that specify the best procedures in the coffee harvesting and drying process that decreases the likely-hood of mycotoxins).

Mycotoxins, like the ones that are present on moldy coffee beans, have been linked to a variety of diseases. Now, the amount of mycotoxins that a person will consume in any given day from drinking a normal amount of coffee will not kill them, (not even close) but, it will make them uncomfortable, less focused, and generally diminish the individual’s cognitive abilities.

One of the myctoxins, for instance, is called OTA.
http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/7759018
http://www.coffee-ota.org/
http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Ochratoxin
http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Mycotoxin

I am looking for a coffee bean to buy from your website. One that has the lowest likelihood of being moldy and having mycotoxins.

Ideally, this bean would possess these characteristics:

1. Machine Washed.
2. Machine Dried.
3. Absolutely no fermentation.
4. Grown at high altitude.

Please let me know if you bean you have a bean that has these characteristics, and if one does not fit all of them, one that comes closes to fulfilling this mold-free mold will also be interesting to look at.

Thank you,

Ilya Reppo
kuzia60
Green Bean
Green Bean
 
Posts: 7
Joined: Thu Dec 20, 2012 4:10 pm

Re: Mold-free coffee

Postby Sweet Maria's » Thu Jan 03, 2013 1:43 pm

Ilya, I didn't in the slightest say that mold isn't a problem in coffee production, of course it is. Dealing with balancing moisture levels of an organic material can certainly result in some degree of molding. The claim that I was making is that any coffee containing mold is rejected by this company and any company I've worked for or purchased green coffee from. Mold is not easy to hide in green coffee, it is painfully noticeable, as well as the fact that moisture levels that would lead to mold are measurable and are indeed a factor in coffee selection/rejection. The company in this ad seems to have built their marketing around very common practices is all that I'm saying, perhaps ludicrous was the wrong word, but my reaction is to the fact that they are marketing themselves as unique while they are actually using quite standard practices for specialty coffee production.

The Panama Duncan Estate is processed with the Penagos aquapulpers that I described earlier and fits your criteria. http://www.sweetmarias.com/coffee.central.panama.php?source=side
- - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - -
sweet maria's coffee, west oakland, california.
User avatar
Sweet Maria's
Site Admin
Site Admin
 
Posts: 580
Joined: Wed Jan 21, 2009 3:30 pm
Location: oakland, ca

Re: Mold-free coffee

Postby kuzia60 » Thu Jan 03, 2013 2:17 pm

Sweet Maria's wrote:Ilya, I didn't in the slightest say that mold isn't a problem in coffee production, of course it is. Dealing with balancing moisture levels of an organic material can certainly result in some degree of molding. The claim that I was making is that any coffee containing mold is rejected by this company and any company I've worked for or purchased green coffee from. Mold is not easy to hide in green coffee, it is painfully noticeable, as well as the fact that moisture levels that would lead to mold are measurable and are indeed a factor in coffee selection/rejection. The company in this ad seems to have built their marketing around very common practices is all that I'm saying, perhaps ludicrous was the wrong word, but my reaction is to the fact that they are marketing themselves as unique while they are actually using quite standard practices for specialty coffee production.

The Panama Duncan Estate is processed with the Penagos aquapulpers that I described earlier and fits your criteria. http://www.sweetmarias.com/coffee.central.panama.php?source=side


Hi Chris, thank you for answering my question. It looks like the coffee you suggested has a fermentation step in order to degrade the parchment from the mucielage (http://www.gocoffeego.com/products/Olym ... -2470.html). Or is this a different plantation?

FAO guidelines for the prevention of mycotoxins on coffee (ftp://ftp.fao.org/ag/agn/coffee/guidelines_final_en.pdf) state:
"The shortest fermentation required to loosen the mucilage sufficiently for washing is the optimal one. "

Your statement that mold is painfully noticeable seems to be a blanket one. Some mold, for instance, grows in the coffee bean itself. Also, "moulds and mycotoxins in bulk food shipments tend to be highly heterogeneous in their distribution and it is essential to ensure that an adequate sampling plan is used to monitor imported materials." (http://www.foodsafetywatch.com/public/492.cfm)

The best way to see if there is mold present in the coffee bean is to test each shipment. As this is not a requirement here in America, yet, this is not done. Europe, on the other hand, is much more stringent with its policies toward mycotoxins, and for good reason.

Since actual testing is not usually an option, it follows that a coffee bean that comes from a farm that follows as many of the mycotoxin limiting FAO guidelines will have the healthier coffee.

Ilya
kuzia60
Green Bean
Green Bean
 
Posts: 7
Joined: Thu Dec 20, 2012 4:10 pm

Re: Mold-free coffee

Postby Sweet Maria's » Thu Jan 03, 2013 3:37 pm

Ilya, it looks like you may have missed the part of my statement where I mentioned that doing moisture readings is a part of coffee selection and/or rejection process, which can at the very least help to determine if mold is at all a risk. We also do UV readings here at SM. I can assure that there are extremely thorough sampling processes being used not just by us but many and most specialty coffee green buyers in regards to tasting for mold and other defects. Make no mistake, we're talking about large investments here, no one is just turning a blind eye to the many different taints and defects that can possibly ruin that investment. A good deal of the language in that advertisement makes it sound like an entire industry would totally disregard something that would potentially render their product completely useless and unsaleable.

It seems to me like you might have a horse in this race, which is fine, I'm not sweating that. If that's the case, then good luck, for real. If you're not attached to that company and are just out to start conversations/debates about the risks of mold in specialty coffee sold by this site, then all I can really tell you that i haven't already is that I'm not in the slightest bit worried about it.

- chris schooley
- - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - -
sweet maria's coffee, west oakland, california.
User avatar
Sweet Maria's
Site Admin
Site Admin
 
Posts: 580
Joined: Wed Jan 21, 2009 3:30 pm
Location: oakland, ca

Re: Mold-free coffee

Postby kuzia60 » Thu Jan 03, 2013 5:43 pm

Sweet Maria's wrote:Ilya, it looks like you may have missed the part of my statement where I mentioned that doing moisture readings is a part of coffee selection and/or rejection process, which can at the very least help to determine if mold is at all a risk. We also do UV readings here at SM. I can assure that there are extremely thorough sampling processes being used not just by us but many and most specialty coffee green buyers in regards to tasting for mold and other defects. Make no mistake, we're talking about large investments here, no one is just turning a blind eye to the many different taints and defects that can possibly ruin that investment. A good deal of the language in that advertisement makes it sound like an entire industry would totally disregard something that would potentially render their product completely useless and unsaleable.

It seems to me like you might have a horse in this race, which is fine, I'm not sweating that. If that's the case, then good luck, for real. If you're not attached to that company and are just out to start conversations/debates about the risks of mold in specialty coffee sold by this site, then all I can really tell you that i haven't already is that I'm not in the slightest bit worried about it.



- chris schooley


Chris, I understood your statement very well. What I am saying is the most accurate way to test for mycotoxins is to test directly for them. While a wet environment is one in which they thrive, testing for moisture in coffee will not give you a correct answer. I have never heard of a test for *wet* parts per million. I have however heard of a test for *specific mycotoxin* parts per million.

With respect to the UV test. There are, and I cannot find the article currently, 100's if not thousands of different myctoxins. Maybe more. Probably more. From the articles I have been able to find, UV testing can *sometimes* be used to detect Aflotoxins (http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC164220/). OTA is not an aflotoxin. Aflotoxins are found in "Maize (corn), groundnuts (peanuts), tree nuts, spices, dried fruit, crude vegetable oils, cottonseed and copra." (http://www.coffee-ota.org/mycotoxins_what.asp)

Also, on the subject of UV testing
"Caution A scan of feed samples by a black light (long wave UV) is sometimes run as a quick test for acceptability of grain or other feeds. Since this test is subject to a lot of both false positives and false negatives, it should not be used as the single determining factor for whether mycotoxins may be involved in animal performance or health problems. It is recommended to follow up black-light testing with other quick or confirmatory tests." (http://www.mycotoxinmanagement.com/ELISA-Quick-Tests).

The OTA mycotoxins is found on coffee beans, and from what I have been able to gather from the research, the UV light does not work in detecting this myoctoxin.

As for your recommendation that you gave me. One of the criteria that I outlined in my original post was that there would be no fermentation step in the processing of the coffee. You mentioned that the Panama Duncan Estate coffee bean fits the criteria I asked about. If there is more than one Panama Duncan Estate, that might be true. If not, then from the information I have already provided, it is clear that the coffee includes a fermentation step in its development. As such, it does not fit the criteria I provided.

With respect to your final claim. I am not a retailer. I have no ties to the coffee industry at all besides my desire to drink it. Because I have had a hard time drinking coffee in the past, and because of the wide range of health benefits one can get from drinking healthy, mycotoxin free coffee, I wanted to make sure I knew what I was putting in my body on a daily basis. My horse in this race is my personal health as well as the health of people that are being told "there is nothing to worry about".

I have provided objective links that describe and talk about the issue. The research speaks for itself. If new research comes out that proves the past research null, and that mycotoxins are no longer a problem in coffee production, then I will update my comments in this thread.

Ilya
kuzia60
Green Bean
Green Bean
 
Posts: 7
Joined: Thu Dec 20, 2012 4:10 pm

Re: Mold-free coffee

Postby bigbells » Fri Jan 04, 2013 10:45 am

One of the cited articles, at http://www.fao.org/ag/magazine/0607sp1.htm says that application of a 5ppb OTA threshold could result in the rejection of 7% of shipments that were currently being accepted.

That determination was made approximately 20 years ago, and the article goes on to say:

"As the project came to an end in July 2006, the coffee industry was hailing its achievements. From surveys of green beans entering the EU, the European coffee sector's OTA task force found a marked decline in OTA levels between 1995, when monitoring began, and 2004, when the FAO project was in full operation. Overall, levels fell from a mean of around 2 ppb in the period 1995-1998 to less than 1.3 ppb in 2002-2004."

For purposes of my own consumption and use of coffee, I don't think there's even a remote chance that any coffee sold by Sweet Maria's is anywhere near 5ppb. The growing and processing conditions that produce the coffees that Sweet Maria's finds worthy of purchase are the same conditions that result in little or no OTA.
Dave Bellware
Roast: Behmor 1600. Grind: Baratza Encore. Brew: Behmor Brazen.
User avatar
bigbells
Past Crop
Past Crop
 
Posts: 1274
Joined: Mon Mar 05, 2012 2:42 pm
Location: Whitakers NC USA

Next

Return to Choosing Coffees, Cupping, Coffee Reviews, Coffee Storage

Who is online

Users browsing this forum: No registered users and 2 guests