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Impact of delay in processing on mold development, ochratoxin-A and cup quality in arabica and robusta coffee

Abstract

Delay between harvesting of coffee berries and onset of processing are common in most of the coffee-producing countries worldwide. Delay in processing is considered to be a negative operation in coffee production with respect to quality and safety. The aim of this study was to reconfirm the impact of delay in processing on ochratoxin A contamination in coffee and subsequent coffee quality. Delay in processing was found to favor higher mold incidence in cherry as compared to parchment coffee of both arabica and robusta. The incidence of Aspergillus ochraceus in cherry coffee was double compared to the rate of parchment coffee. No definite correlation was found between ochratoxin A contamination and delay in processing in cherry and parchment. Delay in processing increased the drying rate in cherry preparation as compared to parchment. Among the coffee types, delay in processing reduced the drying time in robusta when compared to arabica coffee. In cherry, at least 1 day was reduced in arabica, while in robusta cherry the drying days reduced by 5 days. In parchment coffee, processing delay was found to increase drying days by at least one in both arabica and robusta. Delay in processing had a negative effect on cup quality in both coffee types and processing methods. The present study confirms that delays between harvesting the coffee cherries and onset of processing increases the risk of ochratoxigenic mold and ochratoxin A contamination in coffee, together with poor cup quality.

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Acknowledgments

This research was sponsored by FAO-CFC-ICO and Coffee Board of India under the Global Mold project “Enhancement of coffee quality though prevention of mold formation” (ICO/06-GCP/INT/743/CFC). The authors gratefully thank Dr. J. M. Frank, University of Surrey for his guidance in conducting the experiment. The authors are also thankful to the Director of Research and Dr. Raghuramulu, Joint Director (Research), Coffee Board of India for their keen interest and encouragement during the study.

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Correspondence to Kulandaivelu Velmourougane.

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Velmourougane, K., Bhat, R., Gopinandhan, T.N. et al. Impact of delay in processing on mold development, ochratoxin-A and cup quality in arabica and robusta coffee. World J Microbiol Biotechnol 27, 1809–1816 (2011). https://doi.org/10.1007/s11274-010-0639-5

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  • DOI: https://doi.org/10.1007/s11274-010-0639-5

Keywords

  • Coffee
  • Delay processing
  • Aspergillus ochraceus
  • Ochratoxin A
  • Cup quality