Science to the rescue

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As we presume you are aware, strictly speaking, there are two types of coffee: Arabica and Robusta.

Robusta is the hardier, cheaper variety; Arabica the more sought-after and flavorful one.

Normally, a blend will be a mixture of Arabica and Robusta, though more expensive blends will have a higher (or 100%) composition of Arabica.

However, sometimes, people lie about the blends that they are selling.

(Cue the utterance of “Good gosh!” “Damn!” and other such phrases.)

But, science might be coming to the rescue.

A study, published earlier this month in the Food Chemistry journal, discussed a chemical compound that is capable of determining the percentage of Arabica and Robusta in a given blend.

The boffins behind this report believe that their method is cheaper that current identification methods used within the industry and therefore is an accessible and cheaper way to rat out traders that mislabel their blends.

The team – led in part by Luigi Servillo, a researcher at the Second University of Naples – found that both types of coffee produced a harmless chemical called homostachydrine.

Servillo and his associates then used a process to verify the makeup of each blend and were able to determine how much Arabica or Robusta was present in their samples.

So, take that, fraudsters.

 

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