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Analysis of Food Fraud & Authenticity Coffee


The two main species in world trade are Coffea arabica (Arabica) and Coffea canephora (Robusta) with Arabica having the bigger market share. According to Regulation (EU) No. 1169/2011 Article 7 “Food information shall not be misleading […]”. Therefore a product labelled as “100 % Arabica” must contain 100 % Arabica coffee and shall not have added any Robusta coffee. Arabica and Robusta coffee beans look different in shape and size, so they can theoretically be distinguished visually. But due to natural variances differentiation can be quite difficult and is not possible for ground coffee. Therefore the visual identification is not always possible resp. reliable and is very time consuming.

16-O-methylcafestol has been identified as a marker substance in the past. This substance is only present in Robusta coffee and not in Arabica coffee. If the marker 16-O-methylcafestol is detected, the presence of Robusta coffee is thus proven and the coffee may not be labelled as “100% Arabica”.

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