ASTCA assists with Research Project

ASTCA is assisting researchers at Southern Cross Plant Science, Southern Cross University in a research project funded by the Rural Industries Research and Development Corporation.
The aim of this research is to develop an objective tool to measure coffee quality using chemical testing to identify indicators of quality. This study will provide baseline data to understand the chemical variability of Australian coffee and how these variations affect cupping quality from the cherries to the cup. The study will:
1. identify chemical components of the coffee that can be used as marker compounds and associate these with quality attributes.
2. identify any distinguishing chemical profile of the Australian coffee that can be associated with cupping quality.
3. provide a definitive measurement of the amount of caffeine that exists in the analysed samples of coffee green bean. This will confirm present understandings that Australian coffee has a lower level of caffeine than coffees grown elsewhere.
4. allow the results of the chemical testing to be correlated with traditional subjective methods (cupping) of assessing quality.
The first year will focus on investigating the chemistry profile of green bean from different geographic locations. This will include green bean that has been grown and processed in the subtropical and tropical regions including different cultivars; some imported DGB; high quality and low quality beans
The second year will investigate the chemical composition of the cherries at different stages of maturity and correlate this with the cupping quality.
In the bigger picture, this project has the potential to provide a basis for establishing quality assurance standards that will assist the industry in achieving the production of consistent, high quality Arabica DGB, giving the Australian coffee industry a competitive edge over imported coffee and thus expanding the market for this product.