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How to keep green coffee from being contaminated during storage?


Green coffee, also known as fresh coffee, is obtained after preliminary processing. If not stored properly, they are very susceptible to contamination, containing toxins that affect product quality and user safety. Are you curious why and how to protect green coffee against contamination risks? Let’s find out with 43 Factory Coffee Roaster now!


What is contaminated green coffee beans?


According to Stephane Cuchet, co-owner of a company that provides packaging solutions for agricultural businesses in Guatemala: Contaminated coffee usually refers to coffee beans that have been modified, spoiled or contain harmful substances. can be dangerous to the user due to external factors. These agents can be mold, dampness, strange odors or flavors, and anything outside the environment that can potentially damage the coffee.

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Why is green coffee contaminated?


You may not know, green coffee is very sensitive to the external environment. Especially when fresh, these coffee beans are like a sponge that easily absorbs everything around. If the storage environment has harmful substances (smells, chemicals, …) or some other agents, the coffee will be contaminated with harmful ingredients. Some of the factors that can cause this include:


Oil products


Green coffee can be affected by various sources of contamination during storage. One of the most dangerous sources of contamination is industrial mineral oils, as they can be harmful to the health of coffee drinkers. In the warehouse, there are many uncontrollable factors. Green coffee beans can absorb toxic substances from forklifts, diesel or gasoline, vehicle fumes, etc. They can also contain toxic oil residues from leaks when warehouses are located near areas with oil or oil depots.




Mold is one of the most feared enemies of many agricultural products, including coffee. Mold is caused by fungi such as Aspergillus and Penicillium. They are formed naturally, growing vigorously in humid, high-humidity places.

If green coffee is not packed tightly and is not exposed to moisture (from the air or another source), mold will be able to enter and destroy the beans. This not only reduces the quality of the coffee, but can also be harmful to the health of the drinker.

Mold in coffee has an unpleasant and recognizable odor. You just have to look at the infected coffee beans to see it.

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This is also a serious influence on green coffee. Many animals carry many pathogens. If they touch or bite, they can infect the seeds with bacteria and viruses that affect the body’s immunity. In addition, some rodents such as mice can urinate on coffee bags, causing unpleasant odors, reducing quality because green coffee has the ability to absorb water and high humidity.


Chemical pollution


In addition to mineral oils, green coffee can also be affected by a variety of chemicals. Some manufacturers often store chemicals (fertilizers, pesticides, …) in the same place where coffee is stored. Even if you don’t touch them directly, if you leave them in the same place, the coffee beans can become smelly, contaminated with toxic components from the air, or leak if the packaging is not sealed, broken or damaged.

In addition, green coffee is also contaminated with hydrocarbons (a substance that causes headaches, coughs, choking, vomiting) when using poor quality packaging. According to an FAO report, hydrocarbons can appear in jute bags when packaging manufacturers use ‘mixed oils’, dirty oils (such as old motor oils) to soften jute fibers during production. When exposed for long enough,   hydrocarbons contained in the packaging will penetrate deep into the seeds, causing poisoning for users.




Oxygen is also a factor that causes green coffee to be contaminated. If oxygen is exposed to green coffee for too long, the coffee will be damaged. Oxygen will make green coffee oxidized, losing its aroma and taste. A study has said that: “Coffee beans stored for a long time will decrease in quality. Green coffee will be ‘wrinkled’ due to oxidation of organic matter in the beans. This will make the green coffee also dull, the taste becomes “stale” (hard to drink smells like paper, wood, dry bread).

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How to help green coffee not be contaminated?


Most of the causes of green coffee contamination are that they are not stored well (closed to chemical storage, high humidity, wet, unclean, rodent, etc.) . So to avoid the risk of green coffee contaminating the manufacturer, roasters need to pay attention to the storage and preservation stages such as:

– Make sure the warehouse, the storage place is always kept dry and clean

– Using pallets to store and transport coffee

– Do not keep green coffee near fertilizers, pesticides or other chemicals

– Regularly check the status of coffee in stock

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In addition to the above solutions, the choice of packaging is also very important. Using high-quality packaging, with many layers of waterproofing and anti-oxidation, helps coffee limit exposure to contaminants such as water, oil, chemicals and oxygen. Moreover, many types of packaging today are also made of high-quality PE material or recyclable hydrocarbon-free compounds that are both environmentally friendly and healthy for the end user.

By now you must have understood the causes and ways to reduce the contamination of green coffee beans. Don’t forget to follow 43 Factory Coffee Roaster to discover more useful information about the coffee world!

Reference: perfectdailygrind

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