FT-NIR origin identification of coffee samples

Sunday, March 31, 2019

Authors: Brigitta Jesztl, Eszter Luca Benes, Marietta Fodor



Two basic variants of the coffee plant are known: arabica (Coffea arabica) and robusta (Coffea canephora). Arabica, with a higher sensitivity to its growing environment, tastes better, while the caffeine content of robusta is about 1.5 times higher than that of arabica. Robusta is less sensitive to its growing conditions, so it can be produced at a lower cost, yet arabica varieties account for two thirds of the world’s coffee production.

Commercially available cheaper coffees are primarily made from low quality robusta, the cheaper they are, the lower the quality of the coffee is. In the case of the ground versions, we cannot even be sure what else there is in the blend besides coffee.
For our measurements, Coffea arabica raw coffee was used as the starting material. Samples from different growing areas, roasted using different methods, and ground under identical conditions were analyzed by Fourier transform near infrared spectroscopy (FT-NIR), and spectral results were evaluated using chemometric methods.
Our results demonstrate that a rapid analytical method, requiring no sample preparation and not polluting the environment with chemicals, was successfully used to identify ground coffees by roasting method and growing area.


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