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  • Jefferson Adams

    Is Coffee Flour the Future of Gluten-free Baking?

    Jefferson Adams
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    Reviewed and edited by a celiac disease expert.   eNewsletter: Get our eNewsletter

      Is flour made from discarded coffee cherries the future of gluten-free baking?


    Caption: Can rinds from coffee beans become the future of gluten-free baking? Photo: CC--Larry Jacobson

    Celiac.com 12/09/2016 - Can the high fiber waste from coffee production be used to create an environmentally friendly gluten-free flour?

    Coffee cherries are the fat, pulpy coating around the famous coffee bean. When coffee is harvested, the cherry is removed and discarded before the beans are processed and roasted.



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    Given that more than 17 billion pounds of coffee beans are harvested, fermented and dried each year, that's a great deal of coffee cherry waste. Too much, in fact, for farmers to merely plow back into their fields, as is commonly done.

    Formulated by former Starbucks executive Dan Belliveau in 2012, coffee flour is transforms that leftover waste into a high quality flour that not only happens to be free of wheat, rye or barley proteins, it happens to have high levels of natural gluten that makes it ideal for baking. Belliveau's patent-pending process collects the cherries and converts them into a nutrient-dense, gluten-free flour. Coffee flour contains five times more fiber than wholewheat flour, three times the protein of fresh kale, and twice potassium of bananas. The final product does not taste anything like coffee, but has a mild flavor of burnt sugar due to its high sugar content. It is also low in caffeine.

    Founded to commercialize coffee flour, CF Global Holdings contracted Ecom Ago Industrial Inc and Mercon Coffee Group to collect and process coffee cherries from farmers and millers in Nicaragua, Guatemala, Vietnam, El Salvador, Papua New Guinea, Brazil, Costa Rica and Mexico.

    The latest yield was about 2 million pounds of dried coffee cherry pulp from the 2015/2016 crop, double the previous harvest yield. The company employs a multistep milling process to grind the cherries into flour of sufficient quality for commercial use. The process can be taken further to produce a flour with the consistency of icing sugar consistency.

    Carole Widmayer, VP of marketing told Bakeryandsnacks.com that "Coffee flour can [already] be found in muffins, cookies and brownies at Sprouts, brownies and cookies in cafes at Google and HSBC operated by Compass, as well as in Seattle Chocolate chocolate bars and Earnest Eats energize cereals.

    So, will coffee flour be the next big gluten-free, environmentally friendly big thing? It looks to be well on its way.

    Read more at bakeryandsnacks.com.

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  • About Me

    Jefferson Adams is Celiac.com's senior writer and Digital Content Director. He earned his B.A. and M.F.A. at Arizona State University, and has authored more than 2,500 articles on celiac disease. His coursework includes studies in science, scientific methodology, biology, anatomy, medicine, logic, and advanced research. He previously served as SF Health News Examiner for Examiner.com, and devised health and medical content for Sharecare.com. Jefferson has spoken about celiac disease to the media, including an appearance on the KQED radio show Forum, and is the editor of the book "Cereal Killers" by Scott Adams and Ron Hoggan, Ed.D.


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