There is now a simple, inexpensive, yet accurate coffee moisture meter for green coffee beans and coffee parchment. 

By Ofelia F. Domingo, DOST-PCAARRD S&T Media Service

Thanks to a project funded by the Philippine Council for Agriculture, Aquatic, and Natural Resources Research and Development of the Department of Science and Technology (DOSTPCAARRD).

Local coffee farmers, buyers, and processors need not employ the traditional, subjective, slow, destructive, and costly way of moisture content measurement. Researchers from the Philippine Center for Postharvest Development and Mechanization (PhilMech) have developed a better alternative through the PCAARRD-funded project “Development of non-destructive moisture meter for green coffee beans and parchment coffee.”

The research team, led by Engr. Arlene C. Joaquin of PhilMech, in partnership with a local electronic company, made a prototype unit coffee moisture meter using a capacitive sensor oscillator circuit for both green coffee beans and coffee parchment.

Joaquin, in a project report, indicated that the prototype moisture meter is sufficiently accurate for three coffee varieties: Coffee Arabica, Coffee Liberica, and Coffee Canephora for both green coffee beans and coffee parchment. This was the result of calibration experiments and validation tests conducted at PhilMech, Nueva Ecija.

It is important to know the amount of moisture content in coffee parchment and beans to maintain high cupping quality. Green coffee beans with high moisture content (greater than 12 percent wet basis) can deteriorate due to bacteria, mold, and yeast.

It is important to know the amount of moisture content in coffee parchment and beans to maintain high cupping quality. Green coffee beans with high moisture content (greater than 12 percent wet basis) can deteriorate due to bacteria, mold, and yeast.

This story appeared in Agriculture Monthly’s December 2017 issue.