Coffee: Production, Quality and Chemistry
CHAPTER 35: Mycotoxins
Published:11 Jan 2019
Coffee is highly susceptible to fungal development, including toxigenic ones, with mycotoxins presence representing an important threat from the economic and safety perspectives. Indeed, despite the increased adherence to good manufacturing practices through the entire coffee-producing chain, together with the inherent removal of the outer shells and roasting step, two important measures regarding the safety of roasted coffee, ochratoxin is still highly prevalent in coffee products, although usually below the legislated limits for roasted coffee. However, the increased sensitivity and universality of modern analytical methodologies show that mycotoxins presence is more prevalent than initially thought, including for mycotoxins with increased toxicity, as aflatoxins, without regulated limits so far. Also, climate changes might induce changes in mycotoxigenic fungal contamination, requiring an important attention to this issue in the near future. Presently, the use of coffee supplements based on green coffee or supplements with coffee residues can also be regarded with concern, as these are known to be potentially more contaminated that roasted coffees, but the studies and legislation are scarce. Despite the advances achieved in the last decades, mycotoxins in coffee are still a “hot issue”, without perspective to “chill” in the years to come.