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Influence of harvesting and postharvest processing methods on the quality of Arabica coffee (Coffea arabica L.) in Eastern Ethiopia

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  • Oromia Bureau of Agriculture

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Eastern Ethiopia is among the regions naturally known for producing the best quality Hararghe specialty coffee. However, due to poor pre-and post-harvest handling practices, the quality of its coffee is below level of its inherent quality characteristics. Therefore, this study was conducted to evaluate different harvesting and postharvest handling methods on the inherent quality of Hararghe coffee. The experiment was designed as a factorial combination of two harvesting (selective and strip harvesting) and six postharvest processing methods (dry processed dried on bare, cemented and plastic sheet ground floor; and dry, wet and semi-washed processed dried on raised mesh wire) methods in a CRD with three replications. The samples were prepared from one Hararghe coffee genotype (H-622/98) planted at Mechara Agriculture Research Center. A team of certified panelists did its raw and organoleptic quality evaluation. The results indicated that the main effect of harvesting and postharvest processing methods were highly significantly influenced all coffee quality parameters evaluated. Selective harvesting was produced highest overall coffee quality (above 80%) that can be categorized under specialty coffee grade. Dry processing method coupled with drying coffee on raised mesh wire was best in producing coffee beans with high raw quality. In contrast, dry processing using bare ground produced inferior coffee for all quality attributes. The highest raw quality score (32.33%) was observed from the dry processed coffee on mesh wire while wet processing produced the highest cup quality (44.88%). The highest overall coffee quality (75.21%) was recorded for wet processed followed by dry processed coffee on mesh wire. Thus, it can be concluded that like wet processing, dry processing of selective harvesting and drying on raised mesh wire and/or plastic sheet floor can produce superior specialty coffee under Hararghe conditions.
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Vol.7(1), pp. 1-9, January, 2017
DOI: 10.5897/ISABB-JFAS2016.0051
Article Number: B53DFEF62906
ISSN 1937-3244
Copyright © 2017
Author(s) retain the copyright of this article
http://www.academicjournals.org/ISAB-JFAS
ISABB Journal Of Food And Agriculture
Science
Full Length Research Paper
Influence of harvesting and postharvest processing
methods on the quality of Arabica coffee (Coffea
arabica L.) in Eastern Ethiopia
Mohammedsani Amin Ameyu
Coffee Research Case Team, Mechara Agricultural Research Center, Oromia Agricultural Research Institute, Ethiopia.
Received 26 August; 2016; Accepted 13 October; 2016
Eastern Ethiopia is among the regions naturally known for producing the best quality Hararghe
specialty coffee. However, due to poor pre-and post-harvest handling practices, the quality of its coffee
is below level of its inherent quality characteristics. Therefore, this study was conducted to evaluate
different harvesting and postharvest handling methods on the inherent quality of Hararghe coffee. The
experiment was designed as a factorial combination of two harvesting (selective and strip harvesting)
and six postharvest processing methods (dry processed dried on bare, cemented and plastic sheet
ground floor; and dry, wet and semi-washed processed dried on raised mesh wire) methods in a CRD
with three replications. The samples were prepared from one Hararghe coffee genotype (H-622/98)
planted at Mechara Agriculture Research Center. A team of certified panelists did its raw and
organoleptic quality evaluation. The results indicated that the main effect of harvesting and postharvest
processing methods were highly significantly influenced all coffee quality parameters evaluated.
Selective harvesting was produced highest overall coffee quality (above 80%) that can be categorized
under specialty coffee grade. Dry processing method coupled with drying coffee on raised mesh wire
was best in producing coffee beans with high raw quality. In contrast, dry processing using bare
ground produced inferior coffee for all quality attributes. The highest raw quality score (32.33%) was
observed from the dry processed coffee on mesh wire while wet processing produced the highest cup
quality (44.88%). The highest overall coffee quality (75.21%) was recorded for wet processed followed
by dry processed coffee on mesh wire. Thus, it can be concluded that like wet processing, dry
processing of selective harvesting and drying on raised mesh wire and/or plastic sheet floor can
produce superior specialty coffee under Hararghe conditions.
Key words: Hararghe coffee, specialty coffee, raw quality, organoleptic quality.
INTRODUCTION
Coffee is the world’s favorite beverage and the second
most traded commodity after oil on international trade exchanges both in terms of volume and value
(Alemseged and Yeabsira, 2014) representing
E-mail: mamasaniamin@yahoo.com. Tel: +251 913420206.
Author(s) agree that this article remains permanently open access under the terms of the Creative Commons Attribution
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2 ISABB. J. Food Agric. Sci.
a significant source of income to several developing
countries in Africa, Asia and Latin America. Ethiopia,
besides being coffee’s birthplace, it is the single largest
African producer of high quality Arabica coffee with about
half of its production going for export. Furthermore, about
15% of its total population is deriving their livelihoods
from coffee (Abu, 2015). In addition, coffee is the
defining feature of the national culture and identity
(Mayne et al., 2002) with 50% of the production
consumed domestically (ICO, 2014). Among the
Ethiopian coffee types that are distinguished for very fine
quality acclaimed for its aroma and flavor characteristics
recently, Hararghe (former Harar), Sidama and
Yirgachefe are registered for trademark (Emebet et al.,
2013) and sold at a premium price both at domestic and
international coffee markets (ITC, 2002; Fekede and
Gosa, 2015). In Ethiopia 29% of coffee is processed by
wet (washed) method to produce green parchment coffee
and 71% by dry (natural sundried) method to obtain
cherry coffee. Musebe et al. (2007) reported that coffee
quality is determined by 40% in the field, 40% at
postharvest primary processing and 20% at secondary
processing and handling practices.
Hararghe coffee is a Coffea arabica species growing in
the highland and midland areas of eastern Ethiopia. It is
well recognized specialty and exemplified category coffee
which is grown mostly without shade, and intercropping
system with different crops like sorghum, maize, haricot
bean and rarely with Khat edulis (Dessie, 2008; Fekede
and Gosa, 2015). The coffee is entirely produced by
natural sun-dried processing method. It is characterized
by medium sized beans with greenish yellow color,
medium acidity and full body and a distinctive mocha
flavor. In Hararghe, coffee was observed to grow as early
as 850 A.D (Brownbridge and Eyassu, 1968). In the area,
coffee is grown in homesteads under intensive
management systems. Farmers of the area use
indigenous knowledge to grow about seven coffee
landraces having their own characteristics including
Shumbure, Abadir, Kubaniya, Buna Guracha, Cherchero,
Buna Kella and Goma (Anteneh et al., 2010; Berhanu,
2014). Shumbure coffee landrace is widely grown in
West Hararghe due to its resistant to coffee berry
disease (Fekede and Gosa, 2015), high yielder at early
age and tolerant to drought whereas abadir is the second
preferred coffee landrace by farmers in the areas due to
its yielding potential and bigger bean size (Berhanu,
2014). However, merely having such potential will not
bring significant contribution to country’s income unless
and otherwise the products meet the demand of
customers in terms quality.
Most farmers (55%) in the area harvest coffee by
stripping method which allows more cherries to mature,
immature, some to dry, some fallen on the ground and
some unripe cherries remain intact on the mother tree
(Mohammedsani, 2014). Besides, in Hararghe only
natural sundried method is used to process coffee by
farmers in which coffee cherries are harvested once from
the tree and dried on plastic sheets or bare ground. This
indicates the deterioration of Hararghe coffee quality due
to improper postharvest management practices which
calls for the improvement of agronomic practices such as
harvesting, processing and handling practices. Coffee
price in the international market has always been
fluctuating affected mainly by overproduction. There is
also a persistent demand for quality coffee in the world.
As a result, coffee quality is the most important factor that
determines the desirability and market value of coffee. In
this situation, improvement of coffee quality could provide
the coffee chain with a new impetus (Wassu, 2011).
Similarly, there is a strong interest in producing and
marketing coffee of higher quality to alleviate financial
problems encountered by coffee farmers in Hararghe
(Behailu et al., 2008). Therefore, interventions in the
coffee sector in this regard remain of critical importance
for both producers and the government to keep a special
place of Hararghe coffees in the world coffee market
(Scanagri, 2005). Hence, the first priority in research is
on coffee quality paying much attention to the regions.
Therefore, this study was conducted with the objective of
determining the effects of harvesting and postharvest
processing methods on the quality of Hararghe coffee.
MATERIALS AND METHODS
Description of the study area
The experiment was conducted at Mechara Agriculture Research
Center (McARC) in 2013 cropping season on young established
coffee genotype (H-622/98). The characteristic of the selected
genotype was presented in Table 1. The site is located in Daro
Labu district of West Hararghe Zone at 8o36'38" North and
40o19'29" East. It is 410 km east of Addis Ababa and 110 km
southeast of Chiro town, the zonal capital and geographically, it is
located at an altitude of 1760 m.a.s.l with average maximum and
minimum temperature of 14 and 26°C, respectively and an annual
average rainfall of 1143 mm (McARC, 2015).
Treatments and experimental design
The treatments consisted of the combination two harvesting
methods viz., strip harvesting and selective harvesting; and six
post-harvest processing methods viz., dry processing drying on
bare ground, dry processing drying on cemented ground, dry
processing drying on plastic sheet, dry processing drying on mesh
wire, semi-washed processing drying on mesh wire and wet
processing drying on mesh wire. The experiment was laid out in a
completely randomized design (CRD) in factorial arrangement with
three replications.
Experimental procedures
Harvesting method
Sample cherries were harvested following both harvesting
methods. Accordingly, under strip harvesting, cherries were
Ameyu 3
Table 1. The characteristics of Hararghe coffee genotype (H-622/98) on research field.
Origin
West Hararghe, Daro Labu district
Yield
17.2 Qt/ha of clean green bean
Raw quality
Good
Cup Quality
Good
Screen size
89 %
Flavor note
Slightly mocha
Tolerance to stress
Moderate
Growth habit
Good
Number of branch
Sufficient
Tolerance to major disease
Moderate
harvested once at a time when 75% of the cherries were reached at
full ripe stage whereas selective picking the cherries was harvested
as they attained full red ripe stage in different time.
Dry processing method
The harvested cherries using both harvesting methods were spread
out to dry in the sun using four drying methods (bare ground,
cemented, plastic sheet and mesh wire). They were stirred
regularly to promote even drying, prevent fermentation and the
development of mold in each treatment. Then each sample cherries
were dried up to when their outer shell skin became dark brown
and brittle. Then after, the sample cherries were hulled with mortar
and cleaned.
Wet processing method
Fresh cherries were pulped using single disc hand pulper
separately as per its harvesting method. The pulped cherries were
collected inside the large size plastic buckets where pulps and
floater parchments bean were removed. Subsequently, the wet
parchment beans were transferred into other bucket and fresh
water was added on it until parchment beans were totally
submerged inside the water for fermentation. The parchment beans
were fermented for 40 h during which the water was changed three
times. When the mucilage was totally degraded, parchment coffee
beans were washed intensively for the total removal of mucilage.
The resulting parchment beans were allowed to dry under full sun
condition on mesh wire and the dried parchment bean were
smoothly hulled to produce green bean.
Semi washed processing
Similar to wet processing, the harvested cherries were pulped with
single disc hand pulper and collected in large size plastic buckets,
however, as opposed to wet processing, parchment beans were
immediately washed manually after pulping and rubbed with
canavas cloth by hand until the mucilage was totally removed from
the parchment beans. During sample drying the moisture content of
the bean was measured using Electronic Rapid Moisture Tester
(HE 50, Germany) in order to know and maintain the uniform
standard recommended moisture level of all sample. The
parchment beans were dried on mesh wire until appropriate
moisture content of 11 to 12% was attained. Finally, sample
parchment green beans were slowly hulled to remove their
parchment.
Quality analyses
Clean coffee bean sample of 500 g was taken from each treatment
combination based on sampling procedure set by Ethiopian
standard (ESBN 8.001), which is on the basis of drawing 3 kg per
10 tons. Representative samples were assigned an arbitrary code
in order to secure an unbiased judgment and brought to coffee
quality laboratory of the Jimma Agricultural Research Center where
the green coffee beans and sensory qualities were evaluated. Then
quality evaluation for both physical and cup were carried out by a
team (four cuppers) of experienced and internationally certified Q-
Grader professional panelists evaluated three times as replications
taking 100 g coffee beans from sample coffee of each treatment in
each coffee test.
Data collection
Data for the physical and organoleptic quality were taken from
representative green bean coffee sample with optimum moisture
content of 11.5%. Accordingly, total raw quality which accounts out
of 40% was obtained from the sum total of raw quality parameters
including 15% by counting primary defects, 15% by weighing
secondary defects and 10% odor of each sample; total cup quality
which accounts out of 60% was calculated from the sum total of
sensory evaluation parameters (15% cup cleanness, 15% acidity,
15% body and 15% flavor) of each sample; overall coffee quality
was calculated from the summation of total raw quality value (40%)
and cup quality value (60%) of each sample; and finally in order to
evaluate the final quality performance of each sample, coffee
grading was determined based on its overall coffee quality value
following coffee grading standard set by ECX (2010) as Grade
1=91-100%; Grade 2=81-90%; Grade 3=71-80%; Grade 4=63-
70%; Grade 5=58-62%; Grade 6=50-57%; Grade 7=40-49%; Grade
8=31-39%; Grade 9=20-30%; and under grade (UG)=15-19%.
Data analysis
Data were subjected to analysis of variance (ANOVA) using
general linear model (GLM) procedure using SAS statistical
software program (version 9.2). Whenever ANOVA showed
significant variation, LSD at 5% probability level was used for
treatment mean separation.
RESULTS AND DISCUSSION
Total raw quality
The main treatment effects highly significantly affected
4 ISABB. J. Food Agric. Sci.
Table 2. Total raw quality of green coffee bean due to the effect of coffee harvesting and
postharvest processing methods.
Treatments
Total raw quality (%)
Harvesting methods
Strip harvesting
20.24b
Selective harvesting
35.94a
LSD (5%)
2.15
Postharvest processing methods
Dry processed dried on bare ground
21.42c
Dry processed dried on cemented ground
26.67b
Dry processed dried on plastic sheet ground
28.08b
Dry processed dried on mesh wire
32.33a
Semi-washed processed dried on mesh wire
29.72ab
Wet processed dried on mesh wire
30.33ab
LSD (5%)
3.73
C.V (%)
11.10
Mean
28.09
Mean values followed by the same letter within columns are not significantly different at P ≤ 0.05 level of
significance.
total raw quality of coffee but the two interactions did not
significantly affect total raw quality. Among harvesting
treatment, selective harvesting registered the higher
mean value of total raw quality 36% whereas strip
harvested coffee had lower (20%), indicating reduction by
about 50% lower of point given as per current standard
(ECX, 2010) (Table 2). It showed that even though this
coffee will get 60 out of 60% in its total cup quality value,
it could never meet specialty coffee standard. The
minimum total quality required for specialty coffee is 80%
and above and hence, require raw quality improvement
by sorting and clearing (ECX, 2010). This perhaps
attributed to the collection of mature, immature, over
mature, dried, insect and fungus damaged cherries and
defected cherries by striping. As result, primary and
secondary defects increased to affect raw quality values
for such parameters such as odor, shape and make and
color of beans. This corroborated with Anteneh (2011)
who reported reduced quality attributes due to poor
harvesting practices, such as stripping and collecting
dropped fruits by promoting uneven moisture levels,
inducing fungus and ferment, and introducing foreign
matter.
On the other hand, selective picking of only ripe red
cherries and sorting defects before drying and
processing significantly improved total raw quality of
beans. Wintgens (2004) point out that whether to
achieve coffee quality by harvesting ripe cherries or
harvesting a mixed product and complementing with
proper postharvest treatment is a cost benefit decision
that coffee growers face. If only ripe cherries are picked,
the volume of quality is higher, but harvesting cost is
higher. If a mixed product is picked, the volumes of
quality coffee are smaller, but harvesting costs low. The
decision facing the grower is whether the saving in
harvesting cost offset the loss of income from less
quality coffee. If they do, the grower should move away
from selective hand picking and in to stripping and
modern mechanical harvesting systems to maximize his
profits. However, by paying premium price for high
quality coffee produced by appropriate harvesting
methods followed by good postharvest practice would
provide economic incentives for farmers to maintain
their coffee quality as well as increase their productivity.
Similarly, coffee total raw quality was highly affected
by postharvest processing methods. Accordingly,
significantly high value was determined for semi-washed
(29.72%), wet (30.33%) and unwashed (32.33%) coffee
in that order. In contrast, the least value (21.12%) was
recorded for dry processed coffee dried on bare ground
followed by those dried on cemented ground (Table 2).
This is in agreement with the finding of Berhanu et al.
(2014) who reported the highest raw quality from
sundried coffee dried on mesh wire, while coffees dried
on bricks scored the lowest raw quality values.
The lowest total raw quality for coffees dried on bare
ground demonstrated the bad practice that can expose
coffee to soil and foreign matter contamination with high
secondary defects. Similarly, Anteneh (2011) reported
that improper postharvest processing and handling
practices (drying on bare ground) can induce fungus
and foreign matters and deteriorate quality of coffee.
This may result in re-wetting by absorbing soil moisture
and favor development of fungus on coffee beans.
Berhanu et al. (2014) also explained that similar decline
in total raw quality from coffee dried perhaps due to less
air movement that can favor mold development and
black (foxy) bean formation. This can influence both
Ameyu 5
Table 3. Total cup quality of Hararghe coffee as influenced by the main effect of harvesting and
postharvest processing methods.
Treatments
Total cup quality (%)
Harvesting methods
Strip harvesting
39.11b
Selective harvesting
44.92a
LSD (5%)
1.85
Postharvest processing methods
Dry processed dried on bare ground
38.40c
Dry processed dried on cemented ground
40.92b
Dry processed dried on plastic sheet ground
43.36ab
Dry processed dried on mesh wire
41.38b
Semi-washed processed dried on mesh wire
43.13ab
Wet processed dried on mesh wire
44.88a
LSD (5%)
3.21
C.V (%)
6.40
Mean
42.01
Mean values followed by the same letter within columns are not significantly different at P ≤ 0.05 level of
significance.
color and odor of the beans and increase the degree of
defects count. Similarly, the highest result from drying
coffees on plastic sheet and raised mesh wire clearly
indicate the need for maximum care to maintain the
inherent raw quality of coffee genotype. This supported
by Selmar et al. (2006) who underlined the importance
of covering sundried Arabica coffee drying tables in
mesh or plastic sheet to simplify protection of the crop
from re-wetting and improve quality coffee owing to the
free vertical movement of air through the tables creating
conducive environment for moisture loss. Therefore, it is
possible to produce beans with the best total raw quality
from dry processing and dried on mesh wire than both
washed and semi-washed coffees dried on mesh wire.
Elsa (2014) also found that sundried coffees prepared
by better management of postharvest processing
practice have better quality.
Total cup quality
The main effect of harvesting and postharvest
processing methods significantly (P≤0.01) influenced
total cup quality but the treatment interaction did not.
Selectively harvested coffee cherries exhibited
maximum total cup quality value of about 45%. This
indicated that selective harvesting of red ripe, healthy
and fruits free from any defects with better cleanness,
acidity, body and flavor of brew, and thus superior total
cup quality. The reverse was true from strip harvested
coffee with reduced mean value of 39% (Table 3). This
could be explained in terms of human induced practices
to either maintain or deteriorate coffee quality that
resulted to a number of defect cups. Bertrand et al.
(2006) described that decreased quality of green beans
and final quality of brew is due to poor harvesting.
Endale et al. (2008) found out that harvesting immature
stage (unripe) and over-ripe coffee resulted in low
caffeine content of brew. Again, Anwar (2010)
mentioned that careless harvesting of ripe and unripe
green berries collectively might contribute to the
deterioration of coffee cup quality.
Among the processing methods, the highest mean
value (44.88%) of total cup quality was recorded for wet
processed coffee dried on mesh wire (Table 3). This
could depict the importance of wet processing method in
improving cup quality of coffee. This was in line with
finding of Anwar (2010), who described that wet
processing method was the best approach to obtain fine
and typical flavor in the cup. Similarly, washed coffees
have known to present better quality, less body, higher
acidity and more aroma than the unwashed coffees
(Mazzafera and Padilha-Purcino, 2004). Additionally, the
wet or washed coffee method produces a superior
acidity in the brewed coffee, fewer defects and a cleaner
finish (FAO, 2010).
The lowest mean value (38.4%) was noticed for dry
processed and dried on bare floor (Table 3), indicating
the worst scenario to deteriorate quality. This could
come due to several factors such as shortage of air
movement, cherry contaminated with soil and other
factors that have an effect on final cup quality. However,
coffee dried on appropriate materials were not easily
affected as noticed from drying on concrete, plastic
sheet and mesh wire as compared to those dried on
bare ground. This supported by Musebe et al. (2007),
who stated that sun-drying could be an effective method
in producing high quality coffee under good ambient
6 ISABB. J. Food Agric. Sci.
Table 4. Effect of coffee harvesting and postharvest processing methods on the overall coffee quality
under Hararghe condition.
Treatments
Overall coffee quality (%)
Harvesting methods
Strip harvesting
59.35b
Selective harvesting
80.86a
LSD (5%)
3.05
Postharvest processing methods
Dry processed dried on bare ground
59.82c
Dry processed dried on cemented ground
67.59b
Dry processed dried on plastic sheet ground
71.44ab
Dry processed dried on mesh wire
73.71a
Semi-washed processed dried on mesh wire
72.84ab
Wet processed dried on mesh wire
75.21a
LSD (5%)
5.28
C.V (%)
6.30
Mean
70.10
Mean values followed by the same letter within columns are not significantly different at P ≤ 0.05 level of
significance.
conditions. In addition, Berhanu et al. (2014) found that,
raised bed typically using bamboo mat having better
aeration and drainage, maintained the natural quality
attributes of coffee. Similarly, Anwar (2010) reported that
coffee drying using raised bed with mesh wire, wooden
and bamboo plastic sheets have better quality.
Therefore, it can be concluded that selective harvesting
and use of drying materials including concrete, plastic
sheet mat and raised mesh wire bed can be encouraged
in maintaining and improving inherent quality of coffee.
Specially drying on raised mesh wire bed was found to
be the best option in Hararghe areas. This was in
agreement with the finding of Berhanu et al. (2014), who
emphasized that improved sun-drying wherein coffee can
be dried on raised drying beds is advocated for improved
quality and better economic benefits.
Overall coffee quality
Analysis of variance revealed that both the main effects
of harvesting and postharvest processing techniques
showed highly significant variation, but the interaction did
not significantly influenced overall coffee quality.
Selective harvesting methods had higher mean value of
80.86% for overall coffee quality. In contrast, strip
harvested cherries gave low (59.35%) mean value (Table
4), which is categorized under lowest quality commercial
coffee (ECX, 2010). This revealed that only due to poor
harvesting practice inherent quality of coffee loses by
more than 40%. Similarly, FAO (2010) reported that
selective harvested coffee is foremost important in
producing superior quality as the cherries were allowed
to ripen on the tree to full maturity before harvesting.
Boot (2006) suggested the uniformity of selectively
harvested beans is a key feature that provides several
advantages for processing and producing high quality
coffee. This indicated the greater number of defects in
strip harvested coffee samples than from the
recommended selective harvesting method. Therefore,
although Hararghe coffee has high inherent flavor mocha
quality, coffee had poor quality and low price in world
market largely due to practicing strip harvesting.
Wintgens (2004) pointed out that strip harvesting could
reduce the overall coffee quality.
Similarly, postharvest processing methods showed
significant effect on overall quality of coffee. Although
statistically similar the highest overall coffee quality value
was recorded for coffee prepared by wet processed and
dry processed that were dried on mesh wire with mean
values of 75.21 and 73.71%, respectively (Table 4). This
showed that dry processing and drying on appropriate
place resulted in good quality similar with wet processed
coffee and dried on mesh wire. This is in line with result
reported by Anwar (2010), who suggested that, wet
processing method resulted in high mean values for good
coffee quality. Similarly, FAO (2010) showed that sun-
drying can be an economical and effective method in
producing high quality coffee if coffee drying under good
ambient conditions. Therefore, for a Hararghe coffee
genotype both processing methods have positive effect
on quality maintaining and improving. Even as far as
considering economic preparation of green bean coffee it
can be sound full to suggest the already known, natural
sundried method with appropriate drying conditions. This
might be due to variation in environmental and genetic
factors in southwest and Eastern Ethiopia. This has been
elaborated by Getu (2009) who pointed out that naturally
Ameyu 7
Table 5. Effect of coffee harvesting and postharvest processing methods on the coffee grade.
Treatments
Coffee grades
Harvesting methods
Strip harvesting
5.11b
Selective harvesting
2.44a
LSD (5%)
0.44
Postharvest processing methods
Dry processed dried on bare ground
5.17a
Dry processed dried on cemented ground
4.33a
Dry processed dried on plastic sheet ground
3.50c
Dry processed dried on mesh wire
3.33c
Semi-washed processed dried on mesh wire
3.33c
Wet processed dried on mesh wire
3.00c
LSD (5%)
0.77
C.V (%)
17.10
Mean
3.78
Mean values followed by the same letter within columns are not significantly different at P ≤
0.05 level of significance.
sundried Hararghe coffee have an excellent balanced
flavor with good acidity and medium body. Therefore,
proper harvesting and dry processing a Hararghe coffee
genotype maintained its superior quality similar to wet
processed of other coffee producing regions of Ethiopia,
indicating the practical implications of dry processing
Hararghe coffees. To this end, Appropedia (2010)
indicated high coffee quality through the application of
appropriate and scientifically approved harvesting and
dry processing practices. The present study also showed
that although statistically not different, relatively low
values for semi-washed coffee than that of full fermented
wet processed coffee and dry processed dried on mesh
wire (Table 4). Similarly, Mekonen (2009) reported that
most coffee varieties under semi-washed showed lower
results than those under wet processed for total coffee
quality. Moreover, similarly processed coffees showed
variation in their overall quality value. In this case,
sundried coffee dried on bare ground had the lowest
(59.82%) mean value of overall coffee quality, followed
by coffee dried on cemented ground (Table 4). This
indicates that, due to bad drying technique the quality of
coffee was reduced by more than 35%. In line with this,
FAO (2010) pointed out that in poor drying conditions it is
impossible to produce good quality of sundried coffee.
However, coffees dried on plastic sheet and mesh wire
gave medium to highest mean value of overall coffee
quality. Similar results were found for coffee variety dried
on raised bed covered with bamboo mat and mesh wire
produced the highest overall coffee quality point
(Mekonen, 2009; Anwar, 2010; Berhanu et al., 2014).
High quality finished coffee product could only be
obtained through the application of appropriate drying
and proper management practices (FAO, 2010).
Coffee grading
Analysis of variance showed significant (P≤0.01)
influence of the main effect of coffee harvesting and
postharvest processing methods on grading but not their
interaction effects. Accordingly, selectively harvested
coffee had superior quality (grade 2) that can be
categorized under specialty coffee (Table 5). In contrast,
coffee produced by strip harvesting had inferior quality
(grade 5) which can be categorized under low-grade
commercial coffee (ECX, 2010). Therefore, it is possible
to produce high quality specialty coffee that can fetch
premium price in the world market by selective
handpicking of fully ripe red cherries and by using
appropriate postharvest processing management. In this
regard, Boot (2006) underscored the critical role of
harvesting ripe cherries to produce top grade specialty
coffee. In agreement with this, Berhanu et al. (2014)
reported that, selective harvesting coffee and drying on
raised bed covered with appropriate materials (bamboo
mat or mesh wire) using the recommended layer
thickness loads of 20 kg/m2 has the highest total quality
points of excellent specialty coffee (grade 1). Similarly,
the natural processing coffee if consistent quality control
is applied to dry processing, the resulting coffee is highly
preferred by the specialty coffee industry (Antonym and
Surip, 2010).
The lowest coffee grade (grade 5) was recorded for dry
processing and dried on bare ground with mean value
5.17, followed by dry processed dried on cemented
ground (grade 4) with mean value of 4.33 (Table 5). This
might be due to the possibility of high defects and
rewetting of coffee cherries dried on the ground, which
can favor mold development that resulted in quality
8 ISABB. J. Food Agric. Sci.
deterioration. In addition, the result showed that, sundried
coffee dried on recommended place (plastic sheet ground
or mesh wire) was recorded under superior grade similar
with washed coffee. Mekonen (2009) and Beza (2011)
also reported that, sun dried coffee variety dried on
raised mesh wire had a good physical and over all cup
quality of superior grade. Beza (2011) has additionally,
indicated the extent loss in coffee quality grade and
monetary value for different processing methods and
drying materials.
Coffee processed by wet processing methods and
dried on raised mesh wire possessed superior
commercial coffee (grade 3) with mean value of 3.00
(Table 5). Similarly, coffee variety dried on bamboo mat
was found to have the highest grading scores (Berhanu
et al., 2014). Elsa (2014) also showed that quality
performance differences among seven early released
coffee varieties due to processing methods and inherent
character of varieties. According to Berhanu et al. (2014),
this could be associated to the combined effect of
processing technologies, inherent quality of the variety
and the levels of drying layer thicknesses. Hence, the
structure of drying facilities has a great influence in
producing good coffee quality.
Conclusion
In spite of the presence distinct inherent quality coffee in
Hararghe, problems of pre-and postharvest practices of
coffee in the region did not allow to produce consistent
and traceable high quality Hararghe coffee as expected
from its inherent quality characteristics. Taking these
problems into account, this study was conducted to
evaluate the effect of harvesting and postharvest
processing methods on raw and organoleptic quality of a
Hararghe coffee. The finding indicated that, unlike
interaction effect, the two main treatments were highly
significantly affected total raw quality, total cup quality,
overall coffee quality and coffee grade. Selective
harvesting produced higher total raw quality and cup
quality with higher overall coffee quality that can be
categorized under specialty coffee. Dry processed beans
dried on mesh wire scored the highest total raw quality
mean value, followed by wet processed coffee dried on
mesh wire while, wet processed beans dried on mesh
wire had the highest total cup quality, followed by dry
processed beans dried on plastic sheet ground.
Nonetheless, the lowest mean value in both total raw and
cup quality values was recorded for dry processed beans
dried on bare ground floor. Whereas, dry processing
methods, drying cherries on raised mesh wire and plastic
sheet ground floor produced better raw and cup quality
as compared to bare and cemented ground. The best
overall coffee quality was recorded for wet processed
coffee and dry processed coffee dried on mesh wire than
all the other treatment. Therefore, it can be suggested to
be processed using wet and dry processing methods as
far as cherries are drying on mesh wire but, as far as
economic coffee bean preparation point of view under
this study areas dry method followed by appropriate
drying techniques might be most sound full to produce
superior overall coffee quality.
In general, the overall findings of the present study
indicated that quality of coffee in Hararghe was highly
affected by harvesting and drying methods. On the
contrary, strip harvesting as practiced by many Hararghe
coffee producers has a determinant effect on coffee
quality. This showed that if producers avoid stripping
cherries and practiced selective picking of red cherries
only, the quality of coffee could be improved first by
increasing percentage of bean retain above screen,
decreasing number of primary and secondary defects
thereby improving shape and make, odor and color of the
bean and as a result enhancing overall quality of brew.
Moreover, drying coffee on bare ground highly reduced
raw and cup quality of coffee by producing off-flavor,
abnormal color and unpleasant odor and finally cup
cleanness, acidity and body. Therefore, proper harvesting
and drying practices were found to be crucial in
maintaining the typical inherent quality characteristics of
Hararghe coffee beans.
CONFLICT OF INTERESTS
The author has not declared any conflict of interests.
ACKNOWLEDGEMENTS
The author acknowledged the Oromia Agricultural
Research Institute (OARI) for sponsoring this research
work and Mechara Agricultural Research Center
(McARC) for facilitation. Further, their deepest thanks
goes to all the McARC’s coffee research case team staff
for their support as a group during sample preparation
and Mr Ahmed Aliyi for his enthusiastic technical support.
Also, they extent thanks to all the laboratory workers and
certified professional Q-Graders of Jimma Agricultural
Research Centre.
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For buyers of Arabica coffee (Coffea arabica L.) in Central America, elevation and variety are important indicators of quality. We compared coffee produced by three types of varieties established in various trials at elevations ranging from 700-1600 m in three countries (El Salvador, Costa Rica and Honduras). Arabica hybrids resulting from crosses of Sudanese-Ethiopian origins with either traditional varieties or with introgressed lines derived from the hybrid of Timor (C. arabica x Coffea canephora Pierre ex Froehn) were compared with traditional cultivars (TC). Effects of elevation and variety on bean biochemical composition (caffeine, chlorogenic acid, trigonelline, fat and sucrose) were evaluated by predictive models based on calibration of near-infrared (NIR) spectra and by chemometric analysis of the global NIR spectrum. Beverage quality tests were performed by a panel of ten professional cup-tasters. Experiment 1 was carried out on the slopes of the Poas volcano (Costa Rica) with the traditional cultivar 'Caturra'. Experiment 2 compared the three varieties in a network of trials established in three countries of Central America. Significant linear regressions with elevation were observed in Experiment 1 with Caturra and in Experiment 2 for the traditional cultivars, and trends were established relating variation in biochemical compounds and cup quality to elevation. Convergence or divergence of the new hybrids in relation to these trends was observed. For the traditional cultivars, elevation had a significant effect on bean biochemical composition, with chlorogenic acid and fat concentrations increasing with increasing elevation. For the Arabica hybrids, elevation explained little of the variation in chlorogenic acid concentration and none of the variation in fat concentration. Nevertheless, Arabica hybrids had 10-20% higher fat concentrations than the traditional varieties at low elevations and similar fat concentrations at high elevations. The samples could be discriminated according to elevation based on NIR spectra; however, the spectra of the TC varieties were more strongly modified by elevation than the spectra of the hybrids. Nonetheless, this analysis confirmed homeostasis of the hybrids for which bean biochemical composition was less affected by elevation than that of the traditional varieties. The organoleptic evaluation, performed on samples originating from high elevations, showed no significant differences between Arabica hybrids and traditional cultivars. The new hybrid varieties with high beverage quality and productivity potential should act as a catalyst in increasing the economic viability of coffee agroforestry systems being developed in Central America.
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