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Freeze-dried coffee, friendlier with the environment

20 April, 2016
Freeze-dried coffee, friendlier with the environment

According to several publications, there are differences in the environmental impacts associated with the preparation of a cup of coffee, due to the different types of beans or to the machines used for its preparation (water heater, coffee maker or capsules).

It is a notable fact that the cultivation of coffee plant has a much stronger effect on the environment than the type of equipment or method of preparation and it is recommended to those who want to enjoy a cup of coffee, while taking care of the environment, to acquire a product with an ecological distinction[1].

Crop information significantly changes according to the amount of work done on the plantation and the use or not of fertilizers, pesticides and fuel for the farm machinery.

The first consideration is part of the many aspects of an environmental balance that investigates and evaluates the environmental impacts of the final coffee cup, an analysis known as the Product Life Cycle.

The following analysis was done for a cup of coffee, where beans from the same crop were compared in each of the following systems of preparation:

Freeze Dried Coffee – electric water heater.

– Roast and ground coffee – coffee maker

– Roast and ground coffee – capsule and machine

The operations of manufacturing, packaging, transportation, the preparation phase and the final residues disposal were other factors taken into account.

It was found that the use of freeze dried coffee allows take better advantage of cultivated coffee in a more efficient way, given that, to prepare a cup of coffee requires about half of the beans that are regularly used with roast and ground coffee. This means less fertilizers and acres of crops, reducing in the same proportion the ecological footprint of that cup of coffee.

Additionally, although freeze dried coffee requires more energy during the development phase than the other two alternatives, the energy requirements for packaging, transportation and final preparation make the total energy consumption 1.5 times higher in the alternative coffee drip system and 1.3 times greater in the case of capsules.

One of the manufacturing stages of freeze dried coffee in Buencafé applies the separation of the non-soluble part of coffee, making it available to generate energy. When using roast and ground coffee to prepare a cup, the insoluble residues are usually discarded as waste and in the case of the capsules they form a complex compound residue of coffee, plastic and aluminum. The decomposition of these wastes in a landfill produces greenhouse gases, or otherwise water pollution.

While the use of the spent coffee grounds in the production of freeze-dried coffee prevents the generation of 1.25 g of CO 2 eq / 100 ml cup, the coffee residues or capsule machine generated 0.83 g of CO 2 eq / cup of 100 ml, so each cup prepared from freeze dried coffee prevents the emission of 2.08 g of CO 2 eq to the atmosphere. Scaling this figure, in a 40´ container with freeze dried coffee results in a reduction of 22 tons of CO 2 eq with respect to roasted coffee.

Over the years Buencafé has maintained its policy of environmental protection, from procurement of raw materials to the marketing of its products. Likewise, it has pioneered and has excelled in maintaining and improving its environmental controls. Which makes Buencafé a coffee good for everyone.

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