Science - June 27, 2013

Organic coffee? It smells different

Rikilt determines coffee's 'finger print'.
Clear difference between organic and normal coffee.

Rikilt has developed a laboratory test that clearly differentiates between organic coffee and the normal types. This test will enable fraud concerning food to be exposed reliably. Researchers were able to collect evidence by letting a machine 'smell' the coffee aroma, according to a paper in the journal Food Research International.  The coffee test correctly identified 98 percent of the coffee samples as normal or organic.
The researchers extracted the air from a bottle containing half a gram of coffee. A so-called mass spectrometer determined exactly which aromas were present. Coffee can release about 900 different aromas and each of these has its own profile, which can be likened to a finger print. It turned out that it is easy to distinguish between organic coffee and normal coffee in this way. The differences arise because organic coffee is cultivated differently, without pesticides and with natural manure.

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