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CFTRI Develops a Technology that could be a New Source of Income for Coffee Growers

Coffee growers now have the opportunity to earn additional cash from their plants throughout the year as the Mysuru-based Central Food Technological Research Institute (CFTRI) has developed a technology that will allow them to produce a beverage mix out of the leaves and create a value-added product from coffee leaves that also offers health benefits.

Shivam Dwivedi
Central Food Technological Research Institute, Mysuru, Karnataka
Central Food Technological Research Institute, Mysuru, Karnataka

Coffee growers now have the opportunity to earn additional cash from their plants throughout the year as the Mysuru-based Central Food Technological Research Institute (CFTRI) has developed a technology that will allow them to produce a beverage mix out of the leaves and create a value-added product from coffee leaves that also offers health benefits.

Growers could expect an additional income from their plants with this coffee leaf brew mix, even beyond the usual three-month harvest period, according to Pushpa S Murthy, Principal Scientist (Spice and Flavour Science Department) of CFTRI.

About the Technology:

This technique is the result of a CFTRI initiative in 2019 to generate value-added products from coffee leaves. The Union Ministry of Food Processing Industries provided funding for the project.

She believes that if coffee farmers can use leaves that can be taken during the off-season or during pruning without interfering with coffee bean growth, it will have a significant impact on their social status.

Due to the nature of the coffee bean's growing cycle, over 70% of the coffee industry is unemployed or underemployed for nine months of the year. The project's goal was to give coffee farmers a year-round sustainable procedure.

Simple Procedures:

Coffee leaves are typically dumped as a by-product, according to her. The making of a beverage from coffee leaves is called in Ethiopia as “kuti tea” and in West Sumatra and Indonesia as “Kahwa daun”. However, according to Murthy, the preparation in these areas differs from the one developed by CFTRI.

Water can be used to make the brew, which can then be steeped for a few minutes before being filtered and drunk. According to her, the institute has started the process of transferring this technology to the coffee business, and a few industry partners have already given their assent.

In terms of the beverage's nutritional content, she claims that coffee leaves are high in phenolic acids, which may have health benefits. A coffee leaf contains around 17 percent more antioxidants than green tea.

The beverage should be eaten in its natural state. According to her, the beverage contains health-promoting polyphenols including chlorogenic acid and mangiferin, which assist to lower blood glucose, inflammation, and blood pressure.

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