Effect of Household Coffee Processing on Pesticide Residues as a Means of Ensuring Consumers' Safety

J Agric Food Chem. 2015 Sep 30;63(38):8568-73. doi: 10.1021/acs.jafc.5b03327. Epub 2015 Sep 18.


Coffee is a highly consumed and popular beverage all over the world; however, coffee beans used for daily consumption may contain pesticide residues that may cause adverse health effects to consumers. In this monitoring study, the effect of household coffee processing on pesticide residues in coffee beans was investigated. Twelve pesticides, including metabolites and isomers (endosulfan α, endosulfan β, cypermethrin, permethrin, deltamethrin, chlorpyrifos ethyl, heptachlor epoxide, hexachlorobenzene, p'p-DDE, p'p-DDD, o'p-DDT, and p'p-DDT) were spiked in coffee beans collected from a local market in southwestern Ethiopia. The subsequent household coffee processing conditions (washing, roasting, and brewing) were established as closely as possible to the traditional household coffee processing in Ethiopia. Washing of coffee beans showed 14.63-57.69 percent reduction, while the roasting process reduced up to 99.8 percent. Chlorpyrifos ethyl, permethrin, cypermethrin, endosulfan α and β in roasting and all of the 12 pesticides in the coffee brewing processes were not detected. Kruskal-Wallis analysis indicated that the reduction of pesticide residues by washing is significantly different from roasting and brewing (P < 0.0001). However, there was no significant difference between coffee roasting and brewing (P > 0.05). The processing factor (PF) was less than one (PF < 1), which indicates reduction of pesticides under study during processing of the coffee beans. The cumulative effect of the three processing methods has a paramount importance in evaluating the risks associated with ingestion of pesticide residues, particularly in coffee beans.

Keywords: coffee brewing; coffee ceremony; processing factor; roasting; washing.

Publication types

  • Evaluation Study
  • Research Support, Non-U.S. Gov't

MeSH terms

  • Coffea / chemistry*
  • Coffee / chemistry*
  • Consumer Product Safety
  • Cooking
  • Food Contamination / analysis
  • Food Contamination / prevention & control
  • Food Handling / methods*
  • Humans
  • Pesticide Residues / analysis*
  • Seeds / chemistry*


  • Coffee
  • Pesticide Residues