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Kenya Industrial Property Institute.    (11) Patent Number: KE 333 (45) Date of grant: 18/08/2009

(12) PATENT
(51) Int.CLA: 2 3F 5//02
(21)Application    ICE/P/2008/00708    (84) WO No. WO 2007/022610 Al
Number:    01/03/2007
(22) Filing Date:    18/02/2008
(31)Priority Number: PI0503668-2    (32) Date: 25/08/2005 (33) Country: BR
(73)    Owner(s): ARCH QUIMICA BRASIL LTDA. of Avenida Brasilia, 1500-Bairro, 133-901 Salto-SP., Brazil
(72) Inventor(s)    FRANZIN, Mauriclo da Silva
(74)    Agent/address for correspondence: Hamilton Harrison & Mathews, P.O. Box 30333-00100, Nairobi

(54) Title:
(57) Abstract:    METHOD FOR TREATING COFFEE FRUITS.
A method for treating coffee fruits with or without the pulp, comprising the step of contacting the coffee fruits with a solution of a composition selected from the group consisting of active chorine-releasing inorganic and organic compositions, such as calcium oxychloride, dichloroisocyanuric acid and sodium and potassium salts thereof and trchloroisocyanuric acid diluted in a liquid vehicle, for a period of time sufficient to detrmental to flavor, aroma and acidity degree of the coffee and to its quality.
 
"METHOD FOR TREATING COFFEE FRUITS"
Field of the Invention
The present invention refers to a method for treating
coffee fruits, whether still with the skin and pulp or
5 in the pulped condition, by promoting disinfection of the coffee fruits, in order to avoid fermentation of the coffee beans by microorganisms and to neutralize some metabolic chemical compositions that are released during the already initiated fermentation, in order to
10 maintain unaltered or improve the flavor and aroma, to control coffee acidity to desirable levels, and to guarantee the quality of the end product, since these microorganisms can be pathogenic or endophytic.
Background of the Invention
15 As known, the coffee beans comprise different acidic constituents that include maleic acid, tannic acid, oleic acid, oxalic acid, caffeic acid and chlorogenic acid, among others. These acidic constituents are responsible for the overall acidity of coffee and the
20 discomfort that occasionally arises from the ingestion of this acidic beverage. Besides the acidic constituents mentioned above, the coffee beans contain caffeine which, upon ingestion causes acidic gastric secretions. Accordingly, coffee drinking not only
25 results in the ingestion of an acidic beverage, but also stimulates the production of additional acids by the organism.
Alkaline treatments have been used in the production
of coffee products. A process for preparing a coffee
30 presenting improved qualities of flavor and aroma involves an intermediate step of partially treating the roasted coffee beans with an aqueous alkaline solution that is adequate to be applied to food products, such as sodium hydroxide, ammonium
35 hydroxide, calcium hydroxide or ammonium bicarbonate,
 
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before final roasting the coffee, as disclosed in US Patent No. 4,986,271.
US Patent No. 2,419,031 suggests the use of an
alkaline substance, such as lithium carbonate as a
5 preserving agent for roasted and ground coffee.
US Patent No. 2,036,345 describes a process to provide a more digestible coffee, by raising its pH through the addition of an acid binding substance. In this process, the acid binding substance is a basic or
10 alkaline material non injurious to health and includes alkaline earth metal oxides, hydroxides, carbonates and bicarbonates, as well as alkali metal carbonates, bicarbonates and alkaline phosphates. These substances, however, are rejected today by the
15 Official Institutions that regulate this matter.
US Patent No. 5,853,787 teaches a method of reducing coffee acidity which comprises the addition, to a coffee product, of a composition comprising calcium carbonate, potassium hydroxide, magnesium hydroxide
20 and potassium chloride to a coffee product. Said addition is made by the consumer himself/herself, in order to reduce the acidity of the beverage according to his/her individual preference. Thus, this process addresses the problem of the acidity in the brewed
25 coffee, but does not suggest any process which allows previously treating the coffee fruits to promote disinfection thereof against fermentation by microorganisms and to reduce its acidity prior to its final processing steps.
30 While different methods directed to coffee treatment
aiming at reducing or controlling the acidity of the
beverage have been disclosed, these -known methods
refer, exclusively, to the already pulped coffee
beans, and mostly to the already toasted coffee beans,
35 addressing only the problem of controlling the acidity
 
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of the beverage to be ingested. These known processes are not related to the objective of simultaneously providing disinfection of the coffee fruits from their final growing phase in the coffee trees before the
5 harvest, as well as soon after the harvest, during the initial washing and drying steps, before the coffee fruits are conducted to the subsequent processing steps, where they are transformed in a product ready to be consumed. The known prior art technique teaches
10 no procedure related to said disinfection to avoid fermentation Of the beans by microorganisms and to neutralize chemical compositions released during fermentation, when said fermentation starts by different reasons during handling of the coffee fruits
15 and beans after the harvest.
Summary of the Invention
As a function of the deficiencies mentioned above in
relation to the process of treating the coffee fruits,
it is an object of the present invention to provide a
20 method for treating coffee fruits still in the coffee tree (in the field/prior to the harvest), or after the harvest, inclusive in the terrace, with or without the pulp, in the form of cherry, raisin, dried in the tree or on the ground, which allows providing disinfection
25 of the coffee fruits, in order to avoid fermentation by microorganisms and also neutralizing metabolic chemical compositions that are released with an already initiated fermentation, guaranteeing and even improving the characteristics of flavor and aroma of
30 the coffee, by controlling its acidity and improving its quality for commercialization.
According to the invention, the method for treating
the coffee fruits with or without the pulp comprises
the generic step of contacting the coffee fruits,
35 still in the tree (in the field/prior to the harvest)
 
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or after the harvest, with a solution of a composition selected from the group consisting of active chorine-releasing inorganic and organic compositions, such as calcium oxychloride, dichioroisocianuric acid and the
5 sodium and potassium salts, trichloroisocyanuric acid diluted in a liquid vehicle, preferably water, for a period of time sufficient to disinfect the coffee beans, avoid fermentation thereof and also neutralize the chemical compositions that are detrimental to the
10 coffee flavor, aroma and acidity degree and which are usually produced during fermentation phases of the coffee beans, which result in beverages of low quality.
The method for treating coffee fruits proposed by the
15 present invention allows achieving disinfection of coffee fruits and beans, from the phase in which the fruits are growing in the coffee tree (prior to the harvest), during the subsequent phases of coffee harvest and handling, until the first processing steps
20 which generally include a washing operation followed by a subsequent drying operation in a terrace and/or in driers. The disinfection obtained with the method proposed herein avoids the occurrence of coffee fermentation by microorganisms such as Cladosporium,
25 Penicillium, Alternaria, Colletotrichum, Epicoccum, Fusarium, etc., neutralizing some metabolic chemical compositions that are usually released during the fermentation, whereby the flavor and aroma of the coffee are preserved and its acidity is maintained
30 within desired levels, besides guaranteeing the quality of the end product by controlling pathogenic or endophitic microorganisms.
Detailed Description of the Invention
As discussed above, the method for treating coffee 35 fruits of the present invention is particularly
 
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directed to the coffee fruits still with the pulp, which are found in a certain growing phase in the coffee tree, and to those coffee fruits that have already reached an adequate ripening stage and are
5 ready to be collected.
According to the concept used by the present invention, the treatment of the coffee fruits still with the pulp basically comprises contacting the coffee fruits with a solution of a composition
10 selected from the group consisting of inorganic and organic compositions that release active chlorine, such as for example, calcium oxychloride, dichloroisocianuric acid and the sodium and potassium salts, trichloroisocyanuric acid diluted in a liquid
15 vehicle, preferably water. The exposure of the coffee fruits upon contacting said aqueous solution is achieved for a period of time sufficient to guarantee an adequate disinfection of the coffee skin, pulp and beans, avoiding fermentation thereof and neutralizing
20 chemical compositions that are prejudicial to flavor, aroma, as well as to the acidity degree of the coffee. The present method provides the treatment of the coffee fruits in a condition in which they are still found in the coffee tree, in an adequate ripening
25 stage, usually ready to be harvested, or even before they reach said adequate ripening stage to be harvested.
Thus, the treatment proposed herein can be started by
spraying or sprinkling said solution to the coffee
30 tree, so that said spraying permits contacting (wetting) the coffee fruits with the solution used in the treatment. The coffee fruits can be in different maturation stages, such as green cherries, ripe cherries and raisins.
35 Spraying the coffee fruits with said aqueous solution
 
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can be achieved in one or several repeated steps, so as to maintain the still not harvested fruits in contact with the composition utilized, during a period of time that is adequate for the composition to
5 actuate on the fruit and sufficient to disinfect its skin, pulp and also the beans, preventing posterior fermentations during the subsequent steps of post-harvest, shipping, handling and processing.
Whether or not the composition in the form of a
10 solution is applied to the fruits still in the tree, the method of the present invention further provides a possible treatment step which includes applying the solution as a washing liquid to the already collected coffee fruits. Said washing can be achieved by
15 immersing the coffee fruits, usually in batches, in washers, hullers and/or mucilage removing devices containing the solution of the composition, which can be selected from the group consisting of active chorine-releasing inorganic and organic compositions,
20 such as calcium oxychloride, dichloroisocianuric acid and the sodium and potassium salts, and trichloroisocyanuric acid. It should be understood that the washing of the already collected coffee fruits can define a second treatment phase for the
25 coffee fruits previously treated by spraying said calcium solution onto the coffee trees, before the harvest, or define the first operation of treating the coffee fruits with the composition comprising a solution.
30 A solution of calcium oxychloride that can be used in
the present invention is preferably an aqueous
solution with a concentration of calcium oxychloride
of about 1 to about 1,000 ppm. However, it should be
understood that other liquid diluents for the calcium
35 oxychloride, or other compositions of the group
 
considered herein, might be used, provided that they are harmless to the coffee fruits being treated and to the food product to be consumed.
In the case of the treatment operation by washing the
5 coffee fruits by immersion and/or flotation in an aqueous solution of the composition, it is generally sufficient to maintain the coffee fruits immersed and/or floating up to 1 (one) hour.
Whether or not occurring one or more operations of
10 spraying the solution onto the coffee fruits still in
the tree, or even an operation of washing the already
harvested coffee fruits, with or without the pulp, it
is still possible to carry out the present treatment
through one or more operations of spraying said
15 solution onto the already harvested coffee fruits
spread in a thin layer being submitted to a drying
step which usually occurs in the so called coffee
terrace. This single or multiple aspersions of a
solution of the selected composition, such as calcium
20 oxychloride, onto the collected coffee fruits spread
in a thin layer in a drying step, when carried out as
the only step of treating the coffee fruits, permits
avoiding fermentation of the latter or even stopping
an already started fermentative process, neutralizing
25 the metabolic chemical compositions that are
detrimental to flavor, aroma, and to the acidity level
of the coffee and to the quality of the end product
and which arise upon the occurrence of some
fermentation level of the harvested product. Even in
30 the cases in which the operation(s) of spraying the
solution onto the coffee fruits spread in a thin layer
define a second step of contacting the coffee fruits
with the selected composition, it is possible to
obtain an even higher protection against deterioration
35 of the desired characteristics for the coffee to be
 
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offered to the consumers, particularly when the coffee fruits and even the pulped beans undergo processing operations in which they are subjected to high degrees of humidity in the processing ambient.
5 When the treatment of the coffee fruits is carried
out, at least partially, through a washing step by
immersion and/or flotation of the coffee fruits in an
aqueous solution of the selected composition, such as
calcium oxychloride, the content of free chlorine in
10 the washing liquid must be properly controlled, in
order to maintain the concentration of residual free
chlorine between 1 (one) and 1,000 (one thousand) ppm.
 
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CLAIMS
1.    A method for treating coffee fruits with or without the pulp, characterized in that it comprises the step of contacting the coffee fruits with a solution of a
5 composition selected from the group consisting of active chorine-releasing inorganic and organic compositions, such as calcium oxychloride, dichloroisocianuric acid and sodium and potassium salts, trichloroisocyanuric acid diluted in a liquid
10 vehicle, for a period of time sufficient to disinfect the coffee skin, pulp and beans, avoid fermentation thereof and neutralize metabolic chemical compositions that are detrimental to flavor, aroma and acidity degree of the coffee and to its quality, since said
15 fermentation can be caused by pathogenic or endophitic microorganisms.
2.    The method as set forth in claim 1, characterized in that said solution is applied, as a washing liquid, to the already harvested coffee fruits.
20 3. The method as set forth in claim 2, characterized  in that the washing of the coffee fruits with said solution is carried out by immersion and/or flotation.
4.    The method as set forth in claim 2, characterized  in that said solution is further applied to the coffee
25 fruits through at least one operation of spraying said solution onto the coffee fruits that are spread in a thin layer being submitted to a drying step.
5.    The method as set forth in claim 1, characterized  in that said solution is applied to the coffee fruits 30 by at least one spraying operation.
6.    The method as set forth in claim 5, characterized in that the already harvested coffee fruits are spread in a layer being submitted to a drying step.
7.    The method as set forth in claim 5, characterized 35 in that the coffee fruits are still in the coffee
 
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trees.,
JL The method as set forth in claim 7, characterAFed
in that said at least one operation of spraying said
solution onto the still not harvested coffee fruits is
5 later complemmnted by at least one operation of spraying the solution onto the already harvested coffee fruits spread in a layer beilig submitted to a drying step,
9.    The method as at forth in olaim 7r characterized
10 in that said at leash one operation o spraying said solution onto the still not harvested coffee fruits is posteriorly complemented by as opetatioa of washing the already harvested coffee fruits with the solution.
10.    The method as set forth in claim 9, characterized 15 in that the washing of the coffee fruits is carried out hy inmersion and/or fLotatJon.
•    The mehod as set forth in any one of claims 1-10e
characterized in that the solution is an aqueous
solution with a concentration of the selected
20 compositLon of about, 1 (one) to about 1,000 (one thousand) ppm.
12. The method as eat forth in claim 11, characterized
in that the time of contact of the coffee fruits with
the aqueinua solution, when used as a washing liquid by
2    immeTsion and flotation is up to one hour.
•    The method as set forth in claim 1, characterized
in that the selected composition is calclum oxychloride,
 
indexation.Ist QCOK tags.Ist

 

 

 

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