February 8, 2007 The world’s caffeine addicts got some good news this week when it was announced that the genes involved in coffee quality have been identified. Since 2001, CIRAD and the Agricultural Institute of Paraná in Brazil (IAPAR) have been working on joint research into understanding the biological processes - flowering, fruit ripening, etc - that determine coffee’s distinctive characteristics. Some compounds (sugars, fats, caffeine, etc) are known to play a role in coffee quality. Their accumulation in the plant, and particularly in the beans, is a determining factor. Sucrose is considered to play a crucial role in coffee organoleptic quality, since its breakdown during roasting releases several aroma and flavour precursors.how coffee beans ripen. Using molecular biology and biochemistry techniques, they have characterized the key enzymes in the sucrose metabolism during coffee bean development. The quality of coffee makes a big difference at market, which is good news for all concerned as coffee is still the second most traded commodity in the world behind only petroleum.
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