Tuesday, March 29, 2016


Are you getting what you pay for when you order a specialty coffee?  

A month or so back, I wrote a post about some American cheese manufacturers that have been using wood pulp — its technical name is “cellulose” - as filler for shredded Parmesan  Cheese.

As the price of food grows, unscrupulous distributors and manufacturers have been tampering with the ingredients to increase profits.  Producers substitute other products and try and pass them off as the genuine thing.  Horse meat has been found in mince meat in products ranging from from burgers to frozen lasagna. There have been cases of diluted olive oil and the list grows.

With a coffee shortage on the horizon,  increasing prices and supply challenges, coffee fraud has become a real issue.  Coffee is becoming an increasingly common target for food counterfeiters. There are mislabeling issues,and some blends are being diluted with cheaper ground beans that have been bulked up with cheap, low quality filler ingredients

The Washington Post says  enterprising coffee traders might be replacing Arabica beans with Robusta beans to increase profits. 

It used to be coffee was coffee, but we have become coffee snob. We like specialty coffees and seem willing to pay for our preferred tastes, but how do we know that we are getting what we pay for? Coffee is so complex – with over 1000 individual chemicals in every cup!

Italian researchers have come to the rescue of the amante del café  and hipsters among us. . They invented a new  process that could be used to tell the percentage of each species of bean in blends. 

That should ensure you get more bang for your bean and reduce coffee fraud.  

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