Effect of roasting conditions on reduction of ochratoxin a in coffee

J Agric Food Chem. 2001 Oct;49(10):4713-5. doi: 10.1021/jf0105586.


A commercial lot of green coffee, naturally contaminated with ochratoxin A (OTA), was roasted under various conditions, and the effects on its final OTA content were determined. Precautions were taken in sampling the coffee to cope with OTA inhomogeneity. The roasting conditions were kept within the range of commercial practice. Roasting time was varied from 2.5 to 10 min, and the roast color varied from light medium to dark. The differences in OTA reduction between the different levels of roasting times and colors did not reach statistical significance. However, for all roasting conditions, the reduction was highly significant, 69% reduction over the combined results. In total, nine studies by various authors about OTA reduction during coffee roasting are now available. Seven out of these nine reported that the relevant range of OTA reductions was between 69 and 96%. Among these seven,are all four studies that reported using naturally contaminated beans, a sampling procedure adapted to mycotoxin inhomogeneity, and roasting conditions within the range of actual practice. Three different explanations are available for this reduction: physical removal of OTA with chaff, isomerization at the C-3 position into another diastereomer, and thermal degradation with possible involvement of moisture. All three explanations may play a partial role in the OTA reduction during coffee roasting.

MeSH terms

  • Coffee / chemistry*
  • Food Contamination*
  • Food Handling / methods*
  • Hot Temperature*
  • Mycotoxins / analysis*
  • Ochratoxins / analysis*


  • Coffee
  • Mycotoxins
  • Ochratoxins
  • ochratoxin A