What Is A Mycotoxin And Why Is It In My Coffee
Mycotoxins are the byproducts or toxins created by mold spores. Mold and mycotoxins can be found on many different food crops including, but not limited to, grains, nuts, spices, dried fruits, apples, and coffee beans. These molds and mycotoxins are most prevalent in warm, wet climates. Since coffee is grown in tropical climates, this contributes to the high percentage of coffee with mold and mycotoxins. The fact that coffee beans are harvested, fermented, and then stored in these warm, moist climates, which proliferates the mold even more.
Choose Coffee Grown At A High Elevation
The higher the elevation at which the coffee is grown, the lower the chance that mycotoxins will appear.
This is due to temperature changes. Mold needs warmth and high humidity, which aren’t as present at higher elevations.
Buying beans from high-elevation plantations reduces the risk of a high mycotoxin content in the coffee.
Why Would There Be Mold In Coffee
There are several reasons why mold is guaranteed to be in most coffees on the market, but probably the most obvious reason is that coffee crops are raised in tropical climates. Mold species vary by climate and the type of food source available. The warmer and wetter the climate, the greater the variety of mold type and mold growth. Because coffee crops are tropical, they are exceedingly susceptible to mold growth and, subsequently, the disease-causing secondary metabolites known as mycotoxins and aflatoxins.
Secondly, mold spores teem in the millionsif not billionsin any given environment, which makes it next to impossible to ensure coffee beansundergoing the typical processes in the typical processing environmentswill be mold-free. This is especially an issue when coffee beans are spread out to dry in large open areas where coffee mold spores are sure to land and take root among the beans.
Thirdly, those typical processes and those typical processing environments make for a rather unavoidable cesspool of mold proliferation.
Sadly, not many consumers are aware of the process by which coffee canand usually doesharbor and proliferate the growth of mold. For instance, the main catalysts to mold growth and mycotoxin development in coffee bean production is the fermentation process, length of storage, and storage materials.
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Do Coffee Beans Have Mold
Before you worry about coffee getting moldy, you may want to consider whether your coffee beans already have mold. Yes, unfortunately, this was an issue that many coffee lovers had to face.
This is because coffee beans tend to harbor a toxin known as ochratoxin A or OTA. Mold flourish in warm and moist areas the kind of climate that coffee grows best in. So, if the fresh green coffee beans have not been dried properly, there is a risk that this kind of mold will grow on the beans.
However, you will be happy to know that these fears have now been put to rest.
To begin with, the coffee that ends up on your store shelves has been tested and put through many quality control processes. So, if there was a significant amount of mold on the coffee beans, this would have been detected and the batch would have promptly been destroyed.
Even if some mold does make it onto your coffee, the experts have found that it cant do much damage. This is because even drinking even up to 4 cups of mold-infested coffee a day wont result in any side effects.
Organically Grown Clean Coffee
Tasting Notes: Juicy, Almond, Caramel
Varietal: Caturra, Bourbon, Catuai
While there are some organic coffee bean companies out there, we have intentionally sought not only organically grown green coffee beans, but beans that we have tested to ensure are free of mold and mycotoxins.
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Why Bad Coffee Makes You Weak
By Dave Asprey
Good coffee is magic.
It can promote brain function, memory, and energy levels. It can serve as a massive source of antioxidants and is associated with all sorts of positive health outcomes. Coffee can even affect your body and mind like Chi Gong exercises. It can even help you build muscle without exercising. However, the wrong coffee can sap your health and hurt your performance.
When I started using espresso in college, I got the highest calculus grades of my life. However, I also had severe joint pain, jitters, anxiety, and I was about to get brain fog. Even bad coffee was an improvement for me then. But after I biohacked myself, I got used to feeling great.
The only problem is that I didnt feel so great when I drank coffee anymore. Sure, I would get a caffeine driven burst of energy but then I would feel edgy, cranky, and often my joint pain would return. And when the coffee wore off, I was useless mentally.
I thought the negative effects were simply a compromise I would have to live with in order to enjoy coffee. Strangely, I didnt get these problems with every type of coffee. When I traveled to Europe, I could more often enjoy coffee without any of the negative side effects. So I gave up coffee for 5 very long years.
After years of researching ways I could return to the hot, bitter arms of my great love , I finally uncovered the secret to my acute onset coffee malaise.
Coffee Is Safe For Most People
Coffee continues to generate controversy in the health world, but the research generally shows that coffee is neutral to beneficial for human health, and possible mycotoxin traces dont seem to rise to the level of being harmful.
Remember to listen to your body, and if coffee seems to trigger symptoms for you, consider reducing your intake or cutting it out entirely, at least until you have healed any underlying imbalances.
To get personalized help restoring your health and getting to the bottom of chronic illness, please contact our clinic.
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Ochratoxin A In Coffee
Ochratoxin A is classified as a possible carcinogen by the US Government and categorized as a mycotoxin.
It causes oxidative stress in the body, which impairs mitochondrial function, and disrupts protein synthesis. This can lead to a variety of symptoms like memory problems, brain fog, Chronic Fatigue Syndrome, night sweats, dizziness, and even hair loss.
The damage doesn’t stop there. Over time, Ochratoxin A can damage your DNA and significantly compromise your immune system, potentially leading to liver cancer, kidney cancer, and neurodegenerative diseases such as Alzheimers and Parkinsons. Some of the first signs of mold exposure are fatigue, weakness, and sinus infections.
Here’s what you can do to avoid Ochratoxin A:
- Choose a coffee brand that tests to confirm the absence of Ochratoxin A and other harmful toxins
- Select a brand that stores their coffee beans in a temperature-controlled storage facility
- Look for coffee that is roasted in a smokeless machine to reduce harmful compounds and boost health-promoting antioxidants
Mold And Bacteria In Coffee Machines Scientific Studies
A research study from the National Science Foundation found that in all the rooms of an average American household, the highest concentration of germs is found in the kitchen. Even more disturbing is the fact that the coffee maker is the fifth dirtiest item in the household, nudged between the pet bowl and bathroom faucet handle.
The above mentioned NSF report notes that approximately half of coffee reservoirs have mold and yeast in the reservoir with 10% exposed to coliform bacteria.
The medical journal, Scientific Reports, reports that coffee makers are an excellent environment for bacterial growth. The scientific report specifically mentions standard capsule coffee machines and says that leach from standard capsule machines is a rich substance for bacterial growth.
The medical study also identified disease causing bacteria in coffee machines. The researchers strongly suggest the need for frequent maintenance of coffee machines .
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Store In Airtight Container
Once the vacuum seal on the packaging of your coffee is broken, it needs to be transferred into an airtight container. And yes, it is important to make sure that the container does have an airtight seal.
Dont leave the lid of this container open for too long, either. Simply scoop the coffee out and close it back up immediately.
There you have it. Your coffee can get moldy, but there is much more to the story than you may have realized. Now that you know exactly how this happens, you can take the necessary precautions. In turn, you will be able to make your coffee last a lot longer! You will also notice that it tastes much better overall.
Is Coffee Mold Dangerous
Needless to say, you need to know if the mold on your coffee can cause serious harm to your health. Is this a possibility?
There is no denying that the mold typically identified on coffee can be harmful. In large doses, it can be considered carcinogenic and may increase your risk of developing certain types of cancers. In addition to this, there is a form of mold that can do damage to your kidneys as well as your brain.
Before you go ahead and dump out your coffee, keep in mind that the risk of you getting sick is very low.
First, as mentioned, even drinking several cups of coffee a day will only expose you to minute amounts of mold. This is not enough to do any kind of damage, let alone for you to experience side effects or other symptoms.
There is also the fact that your liver is responsible for neutralizing these mold spores. Even if they do enter your body, your system is more than capable of getting rid of the risk so that it doesnt do any kind of damage to your body.
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Why Ota Is Bad For You
OTA from any source including coffee is a problem because it is associated with cancer , brain damage and hypertension and kidney disease . In addition, immunosuppressive, teratogenic and carcinogenic effects have been reported for OTA . Another report says, The available evidence suggests that OTA is a genotoxic carcinogen by induction of oxidative DNA lesions coupled with direct DNA adducts . All of these studies were concluded from amounts far higher then what normally occurs in one single cup of coffee. However, there are risks to chronic exposure to low doses of this toxin over time, as youll read in the next paragraph.
Many studies of toxicity are performed on rodents, which use their livers to break down OTA. Humans use our kidneys instead, which makes the half-life of OTA in humans approximately 14 times longer than in rats . That means that the toxins in your daily cup of coffee can accumulate over time in your body, just as farmers know they do in pigs, the most OTA-sensitive animals after humans.
When it comes to human brain performance, there are some other quite concerning theories about how OTA causes damage in cells. One theory is that OTA causes an increase intracellular pH via a disruption in membrane anion conductance .
Or maybe its actually disrupting gap junction intercellular communication .
Avoiding Pesticide Contaminants In Your Daily Cup Of Joe
The downsidecoffee is one of the most chemically-treated crops in the WORLD. According to CS Monitor, up to 250 pounds of chemical fertilizers are sprayed per acre of conventional coffee. Yikes! Kinda makes you think twice about grabbing something from Starbucks, huh?
Currently, the U.S. government does not have maximum residue limits for pesticides used on coffee beans, and there are about 42 different pesticides used on coffee worldwide. This doesnt include chemicals that have been banned globally but are possibly still used illegally.
Choosing organic coffee is obviously pertinent for your health, but also for the safety of the workers that grow and harvest the beans. Not to mention, think of the bees, the soil, and the residue that can run off into the local water systems!
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Top 5 Best Mold And Mycotoxin Free Coffee Brands Of 2022
No one wants to drink moldy coffee, but finding expertly sourced, properly roasted, and third-party lab tested coffee can be a challenge. To help make your search as simple as possible, we’ve compiled a list of most popular “mold free” coffee’s including Bulletproof, Peak Performance, Isagenix, Kicking Horse, and our very own Natural Force Clean Coffee. We will examine how each company sources, roasts, and tests their coffee beans so you can decide for yourself which mold and mycotoxin free coffee is right for you!
In this article, youll discover:
My Final Thoughts About Clean & Organic Coffeeis It Worth It
Is seeking out clean coffee 100% necessary? I dont totally think so. In my opinion, at least make it a priority to find smaller roasters that are certified organic or at least use organic practices. Of course, taking it a step further to purchase from brands that go above and beyond to ensure no mold and mycotoxins is great!
I personally still plan on supporting some of my favorite local Milwaukee coffee shops that offer organically-grown coffees, especially since nothing has to be shipped to me. But Ill also buy from some of the brands listed in this post here and there .
What are your thoughts on the clean coffee trend? Id love to hear in the comments below! Or let me know if there are any awesome brands I missed that should be included in this list. Thanks SO much for reading! Cheers
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So Does Your Coffee Have Mold
There are several indications that you might have mold in coffee. Was there ever a time that you accidentally forgot to toss out the filter from your last brew and a few days passed? If you noticed the smell or visual hint of any mold in coffee grounds within the last filter, its guaranteed that the batch of coffee you purchased was already moldy before you brought it home.
Another indication would be a moldy smell coming from your coffee maker, regardless of regular filter changes. Statistically, over half of all coffee brewers are a breeding ground for mold.
Some may be able to detect this mold in their coffee, but many do not smell or taste the mold or mycotoxins in their coffee beans.
And, lastly, you may have become aware of coffee mold symptoms that affect your health. Did you know that ingesting coffee mold spores can trigger allergies? Thats rightjust one cup of moldy coffee can cause congestion, coughing, headaches, sneezing, and watery eyes. Even the sudden onset of flu-like symptoms and upper respiratory infections can stem from the consumption of moldy coffee. Gastrointestinal issues, such as bloat, diarrhea, loose stool, cramping, can all be signs of mold in coffee, as well.
So, what are the solutions?
About Our Organic Mycotoxin Free Coffee Beans
A clean and smooth coffee, with bright acidity, mellow body and a caramel finish. A very sweet espresso, with notes of golden syrup and lemon, with a buttery mouthfeel.
COCAFELOL CO-OPERATIVE, OCOTEPEQUE REGION, HONDURAS
Organic and Fairtrade
Mycotoxin Free Coffee
Single origin, 100% Arabica, Speciality Coffee. Grown by the Cocafelol co-operative, a collection of smallholder farmers.
The COCAFELOL co-operative works incredibly hard with its farmers, both technically and financially, while maintaining sustainable agricultural practices, to produce coffee of the highest quality. This Organic, Fairtrade and Rainforest Alliance origin sources from individual smallholder farmers, high in the mountainous Ocotepeque Region of Western Honduras.
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Are There Mycotoxins In Coffee
The short answer is, yes, there are mycotoxins in coffee. Mycotoxins are toxic compounds produced by certain fungi and are found in many foods and drinks .
The more comprehensive answer is that current research shows that the levels of mycotoxins in coffee have not been found to be harmful to human health.
I have not found any studies that test whether coffee consumption causes or contributes to mold illness. The studies I discovered only showed that about 53% of the coffees tested contain mold, but not at levels high enough to be toxic [1
Here is an overview of the research on some of the types of mycotoxins found in coffee:
|Trusted SourcePubMedGo to source]
Its Worse Than Just Ota
Some other fungal species we dont commonly pay attention to make other mold toxins besides OTA, and those toxins are synergistic. For instance, some problems occur when several mycotoxins work together synergistically at lower levels, like OTA with penicillic acid and fumonisin B2 . Other researchers have uncovered the toxicity of the low contamination levels of some combinations of mycotoxins and, the importance of joint mycotoxin interaction and newly identified fungal metabolites in the complex etiology of mycotoxic nephropathy .
In the immortal words of Homer Simpson, Doh! Most processed foods and a lot of fresh produce trucked in from far away have chronic safe levels of OTA and other mold toxins in them. The effect is worse when mold toxins are mixed together, as documented above, but no country on the planet has standards for combined exposure, even though we know that they are unsafe at lower levels when theyre mixed. This is one of the many reasons processed foods are bad for you. Its also why I developed the Bulletproof Process testing standard to account for multiple toxins 27 of them, to be exact.
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Will Roasting And Brewing Coffee Beans Get Rid Of Mycotoxins
Roasting involves subjecting coffee beans to a high temperature for reasonably long periods of time. In a broader sense, the temperature varies from 370 degrees F for a light roast to 540 degrees F for darker roasts.
Surely, this is enough to get rid of the problems?
Roasting does get rid of all the mold on the coffee. Molds dont survive the temperature and duration of the roasting and will die off.
Mycotoxins, on the other hand, are a different problem. The bigger problem is, there doesnt seem to be a research consensus on how roasts affect the presence of mycotoxins like Aflatoxin B1.
Some research, like this one, suggests that roasting beans makes a negligible difference to the amount of mycotoxins in coffee beans.
Another, more extensive research, suggests that roasting reduces the presence of mycotoxins by 69-96%.
I call this one more extensive because it actually follows the full procedure of roasting coffee beans. The previous one considers a medium roast temperature of 482F, but only for 150 seconds. Thats not nearly enough to fully roast the coffee beans. Either way, both researches are included here for perusal.
It is, however evident, that darker roasts and higher temperatures do a much better job at removing mycotoxins as compared to lighter roasts.
Brewing coffee doesnt seem to have much effect on the presence of mycotoxins like aflatoxin B1. The amount of toxins in your beans will likely make its way to your coffee, irrespective of the brewing method used.