How to check adulteration in coffee powder

Food is one of the basic necessities for sustenance of life.

How to check adulteration in coffee powder

Food is one of the basic necessities for sustenance of life. No wonder our life span is affected by the consumption of food. Food doesn’t mean the hard substance we consume every day, it also includes drinks and beverages in itself. One of them is coffee. The amount of popularity coffee has gained throughout the centuries for its refreshing, exciting taste, and health aids is tremendous. However, adulteration takes place in the production of this food.
Adulteration of food is commonly defined as ‘the subtraction or addition of any substance to or from food, so that the quality of food substance or natural composition is affected’. This act is manual and intentional. If the consumer is not aware of the adulteration in food, it can be a great risk to their health. Coffee adulteration involves the substitution of cheap coffee beans with the good ones and also some foreign materials from different regions. Since we spend a considerable amount of our sweat in the form of money for food; we have all the responsibility to know about the adulteration and how to check this out.

Adulteration in Coffee

People, nowadays, look for quality at any cost. Surprisingly, in coffee the work of adulterators is involved. Shocked, right? Yes, since we buy grounded coffee powder, we don’t really know about the adulteration that takes place before the final product. In the case of coffee, the most commonly used adulterants are caramel, chicory and date seeds.
Generally, the mixture of these things happens before grinding. Once coffee beans are ground, it is very hard to find the presence of any of the above-mentioned adulterants. Sadly, the real quality which we are supposed to receive gets affected half way through. However, we can find the existence of adulterants in coffee powder through various tests. They are a pinch test, water droplet test, and a tumbler test. Let us look into them.

Pinch Test

At first, in the pinch test, we have to take a bit of coffee and squeeze it between our fingers. If the squeezed coffee takes the form of a cake-like mass, we can come to the conclusion that it is adulterated with chicory. Because the grains of coffee are big and solid; they never stick to each other, whereas the grains of chicory are soft and small; they can easily stick together. So, we can easily find out whether the coffee we use is pure or not through this test without any huge machines.

Water Droplet Test

The object of this test is to keep a pinch of coffee powder on a small plate. Take a drop of water and put it over the coffee powder. The result will be so quick in this test too. If the coffee powder becomes smooth and soft by absorbing the water, it surely contains chicory. If not, it will take some time to absorb the water.

Tumbler Test

The tumbler test is the final one to check the adulteration in coffee. Transparent glass is needed to do this test. We need to fill the glass with water. Gently drop a pinch of coffee powder on it. If the coffee floats on water and takes some time to sink, it is pure coffee. In contrast, if it sinks quickly into the water, there is an adulteration of chicory. If it becomes a yellow or brown colour, there is an addition of caramel or chicory with coffee.
In addition to the previously stated points, there are some more adulterants which are also common these days like cereal grains, woody tissue, husks and stems. Though we consume coffee every day, we may not know about the adulteration part of it. Perhaps this is the time we can know about the details of adulteration and the way in which we can find that.
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