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CFTRI scientist develops new beverage from Coffee leaves in Mysuru

Cftri Scientist Pushpa S. Murthy
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Mysuru: The coffee growers now have a reason to cheer. The Mysuru Central Food Research Institute (CFTRI) scientists have developed a technology in which coffee leaves can be dried and used as beverage.

The new invention has come while coffee growers are in distress owing to rising production costs, extreme weather conditions, Covid lockdown and falling prices. Amid all this, CFTRI Principal Scientist Pushpa P. Murthy and team have succeeded in developing the new technology.

Speaking to NewsKarnataka on Friday November 12, Pushpa S. Murthy, who developed the technology said that this would be beneficial for human health. “We have been developing this technology since 2019 and have received a grant from the Ministry of Food Processing Industries of the Central Government,” she added.

The coffee leaves beverage would fetch good income to growers, and it will have a major impact on the economic development of the coffee growers. About 70 per cent of the coffee industry employees today face unemployment for nine months of the year due to the growth cycle of the coffee beans. But if the beverage become successful the growers would have employment throughout the year.

Coffee leaves were thought to be useless and so far served as manure. However, in coffee growing countries Indonesia and Ethiopia, coffee leave beverage is not new. In Ethiopia it is known as “Kuti Tea” and is known as “Kahwa Dan” in West Sumatra and Indonesia. But Pushpa said the drink in these areas is different from the beverage developed by CFTRI. The drink can be made with water, filtered and consumed after few minutes.

According to Pushpa, leaf extract does not taste like coffee. Talking about the nutritional value of the drink, she said coffee leaves are rich in phenolic acid and have potential health benefits. A coffee leaf contains about 17 per cent more antioxidants than a green tea. The drink contains health-promoting polyphenols such as chlorogenic acid and mangiferin, which help reduce blood glucose levels, inflammation and blood pressure.

Declining to share more information on this new technology, she said the project, which began in 2019, should have been completed within two years. But delay in releasing funds and Covid lockdown the project had to be continued for another 6 months. She said the technology will be placed before a high-level committee of the Central Research Institute and would be given to the businessmen and individuals for royalties. But the committee will take a final decision on this.

The latest research by Pushpa and team has the potential to revolutionise coffee industry. Pushpa has worked at Central Food Lab for the past two decades and has done many researches on coffee and spices.

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