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Sunday, November 29, 2009

Brazilians Fight Coffee Fraud

Brazil is the world's #1 coffee grower and #2 coffee consumer, and though the majority of its exported coffee is in bean form, its local grounds are known to contain any number of "filler" contaminants, including sugar, caramel, even wood!

The industry is known to sometimes mix these other, cheaper, ingredients into the coffee grounds in order to "bulk-up" the weight of the units. And though these contaminants are not known to cause health problems, they can make drinking the product uncomfortable.

The Brazilian Coffee Industry Association, or ABIC, tests products at random which it pulls from store shelves. If contaminants are found, the company is reported and given a fixed time period in which they can fix the problem. Repeat offenders face higher fines, loss of the Purity Seal, and can even be shutdown!

ABIC shutdown 10 such coffee producers in 2009.

© C Harris Lynn, 2009

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