Coffee may be considered to be a shelf-stable product but it is stable only till the time it is not exposed to the factors that can interact with its chemical and physical properties thereby leading to degradation of quality.
It is not immune to the microbial and enzymatic processes stimulated in the presence of oxygen and moisture, causing the spoilage of coffee beans. Coffee contains alkaloids, hydrocarbons, lipids and carbohydrates. Though the presence of lipids is very minimal in coffee beans yet they are prone to lipid oxidation which turns them rancid affecting the flavor and aroma of coffee.
Oxygen availability in the areas of storage of coffee beans can penetrate through the packaging and spoil the contents over a period of time. It’s very important to use oxygen absorbers in coffee bean packaging to ensure proper storage of the coffee beans to obtain an enhanced shelf life.
As it is shown in research studies that no matter how better is the storage condition be it vacuum-like condition or low oxygen environment, both of them have shown the instances of lipid oxidation due to the presence of free radicals in coffee beans during the roasting process. So, using moisture absorber in food packaging has become mandatory in order to avoid the potential loss.
Oxidation is one such process which is evident both in green beans and roasted beans. It impacts the aroma and flavor of the coffee and reduces the overall shelf life. As harmful changes are likely to occur affecting the quality, aroma and flavor of coffee beans while it is in transit from the fields to roasters.
But all this can be controlled with the use of oxygen absorbers as they are capable of maintaining the desired level of oxygen. A minimum level of this gas is required to keep the beans breathing. It also helps in maintaining the aroma and flavor of the coffee and excess of oxygen can also become the reason for spoilage.
Oxygen absorbers absorb the oxygen that somehow gets penetrated in the process of packaging or over a period of time when kept in storage, it contains iron powder which gets oxidized and turns to rust, this process of oxidation reduces the presence of oxygen inside the package and keeps the coffee beans fresh for extended periods of time. This transition in oxygen content creates a higher concentration of nitrogen, which is better for the long term shelf life of the packaged food item.
Oxygen absorbers are safe to place on top of the food. This doesn’t harm the food in contact as they come in sealed pouches. Oxygen Absorbers are used to remove oxygen from within a sealed environment, creating a nitrogen environment for long-term food storage as they bring the oxygen level down to 0.01% or less.