Written by: Ofelia F. Domingo
DOST-PCAARRD S&T Media Service
Now there is a simple, inexpensive yet accurate coffee moisture meter for green coffee beans and coffee parchment. Thanks to the project funded by the Philippine Council for Agriculture, Aquatic, and Natural Resources Research and Development of the Department of Science and Technology (DOST-PCAARRD).
Our coffee farmers, buyers, and processors need not employ the traditional, subjective, slow, destructive and costly way of moisture content measurement. Researchers from the Philippine Center for Postharvest Development and Mechanization (PhilMech) have developed a better alternative, through the PCAARRD-funded project “Development of non-destructive moisture meter for green coffee beans and parchment coffee.”
The research team led by Engr. Arlene C. Joaquin of PhilMech, in partnership with a local electronic company, made a prototype unit coffee moisture meter using a capacitive sensor oscillator circuit for both green coffee beans and coffee parchments.
Joaquin, in a project report, indicated that the prototype moisture meter is sufficiently accurate for three coffee varieties: Coffea arabica, Coffea liberica, and Coffea canephora for both green coffee beans and coffee parchments. This was the result of calibration experiments and validation tests conducted at PhilMech, Nueva Ecija.
It is important to know the amount of moisture content in coffee parchment and beans to maintain high cupping quality. Green coffee bean with high moisture content (greater than 12 percent wet basis), can deteriorate due to bacteria, mold, and yeast. On the other hand, coffee beans with less than 9 percent moisture will shrink and become distorted, making them appear as low quality beans. To ensure the best quality in coffee, monitoring its moisture content at all times after it is dried is necessary to command a better price at the time of sale.