DNA inside an espresso: a quick assumption
On february the 14th, Associazione Museo del caffè of Trieste celebrated its second birthday with the fifth of several “Coffee Rendevous: Thursday meetings in Trieste”. Following January’s meeting with a professor of the Alma Mater Studiorum in Bologna, we gathered again on the 21st of February, this time to focus on the many aspects intertwined with genetical occurrences involved in the processing of coffee, from a botanical point of view. We have discussed about the DNA presence inside coffee.
A small cup of espresso certainly spreads many aromas that are difficult to resist. They consists of thousands of molecules but are not the sole components of coffee. We are all aware that the drink has coffeine in it, which is beneficial only if ingested in the correct quantities but also contains antioxidandts such as polyphenoles that can reduce the risk of developing some illnesses.
If we delve more into a chemical analysis of the drink, we may find small quantities of fat, partially degraded proteins, sugar, and some DNA! All such substances can be exploited by our body but, given the small amount found in a cup of coffee, they cannot really contribute significantly to the nutritive provision we need. Instead, the available DNA, even if it is partially destroyed during the washing and roasting stages, can help detect what percentage of Robust or Arabic species is inside the drink we are about to enjoy. In some cases it is even possible to obtain information about the area the beans are originating from. With this in mind, it is indeed important to resort to the DNA analysis in order to offer some sort of guarantee to the end users.
The company DNA Analytica, for which academic Giorgio Graziosi has been speaking, worked together with companies such as Illycaffè or Lavazza in these researches, which may be expensive but certainly are beneficial in reading an “exploded view” on the raw material found in coffee.Read the Press Release of the event.