• OTA - prevention during shipment

    Condensation occurs because moisture is always present in the air and hygroscopic (water-attracting) materials such as coffee normally contain a certain amount of moisture as well. Coffee with a moisture content in excess of 12.5% (ISO 6673) should never be shipped, whether in containers or bagged, as beyond this point the risk of condensation and therefore fungi growth occurring becomes unacceptably high. Under ICO minimum export standards, the only exceptions could be specialty coffees that traditionally have a high moisture content, such as Indian monsooned coffees.

    This is not to suggest that a moisture content of 12.5% is commercially acceptable for all coffee - for certain coffees, certain origins and certain buyers it is definitely not. The figure of 12.5% simply represents a known technical point at which the risk of damage from condensation and growth of mould during storage and transport becomes unacceptably high. Shippers who normally ship their coffee at moisture percentages below 12.5% should definitely continue to do so.

    An increasing number of buyers now include a maximum permissible arrival moisture content in purchasing contracts. Increasing preoccupations with food health and hygiene in consuming countries suggest strongly that exporters will be well advised therefore to acquaint themselves with their buyers' requirements in this regard.
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