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Re:Co symposium Portland 2023

Sweetness in Coffee: Sensory Analysis and Identification of Key Compounds

Solving the mystery of sweetness is a key element of the SCA's journey to make coffee better and more sustainable.

Lecture Overview

Specialty coffee consumers and experts alike agree that a key part of coffee quality is the natural sweetness that is a part of high-quality coffee flavor. Recent research has confirmed that, counterintuitively, the sweetness in coffee does not come from sugars in the bean. This has created something of a mystery among coffee experts and sensory scientists —if sugars do not make coffee taste sweet, what could be the reason for the sweet taste of high-quality coffee?

Natural sweetness makes coffee more valuable to consumers, roasters, and coffee farmers alike, which is why it is being recognized as a sensorial evaluation category within the SCA’s Coffee Value Assessment System. Solving the mystery of sweetness, then, is a key element of the SCA's journey to make coffee better and more sustainable.

Presenter: Dr. Nancy Cordoba

Nancy Cordoba is an Agroindustrial Engineer, with M.Sc. in Process Design & Management and a Ph.D in Biosciences. She is currently a Post-Doctoral Associate in the Food Research and Education Center at The Ohio State University, where she is developing innovative research on applied flavoromics to coffee beverages (hot and cold brews). She has extensive experience in food products & beverages design, and a sound experience in coffee production and processing, being a Q-Processing Expert.


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