Irradiated greens?

Discuss roast levels and profiles for espresso, equipment for roasting coffee.
GDM528

#1: Post by GDM528 »

Has anyone here 'gone nuclear' on their greens?

Aside from perhaps some anger issues, why? Irradiated foods are common in grocery stores and can significantly extend shelf life. Perhaps the same can apply to coffee greens, and I've seen a few research papers investigating the effects - the rats they fed irradiated coffee didn't seem to mind ;)

First response would be "freeze them". Freezing is so established to work well that it no longer merits so much as a raised eyebrow during a cupping session. "Irradiated" on the other hand, might evoke a deer-in-headlights reaction... Priceless.

Irradiated, how?

Neutron radiation penetrates too deeply, the equipment would land you on government watch lists, and the neighborhood association would freak out. Same holds for X-rays, but the next time you go to the dentist...

UV radiation is widely available: flashlights, nail polish curing chambers, rave parties, sunlight (yeah, I know, it's December). The photons will only kill what's growing on the surface of the greens, leaving the interior just as the grower grew it.

I'm inclined to try this with the next batch of greens I order, but it will be at least six months before I have anything more to say about it.

Marcelnl
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#2: Post by Marcelnl »

not irradiated, how, but IMO irradiated WHY? For shelf life you can freeze greens, freezing is within anyones means I'd say.

normally irradiation is done to kill germs etc, and it has no side effects since the radiation is gone when the equipment is switched off.

Many greens are already IV irradiated, during drying in the sun ;-)
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Ben Z.

#3: Post by Ben Z. »

I don't believe green coffee degradation is generally due to bacteria or fungus. Therefore, I'm not sure what problem you are trying to solve...

GDM528 (original poster)

#4: Post by GDM528 (original poster) »

It all began with me reading a couple articles on using a UV light to sort out 'bad' greens:
The recommended procedure was to spread out the greens in a darkened room, turn on the UV light, pluck out the greens that glow brighter than the overall population, and calculate the percentage of glowy-bad greens. Okey dokey I thought; I'll try that with my year-old bag of greens - they lit up like a Vegas casino...

I'm still reading up on this, but florescence is associated with many strains of fungi. Even my sourdough starter glows. So, my first guess is there's mold or yeast growing on my greens. Harmless, granted, but maybe they're adding something to the taste that I'd rather not experience. Hence, killing them off before they get sealed up for a long-term storage scenario. And yes, this is just one of many ways the greens degrade over time, but I'll take bland over phenolic any day.

I'm aware of the canon associated with greens storage. Just exploring other possibilities, and coming to HB to collect any prior wisdom on the topic...

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yakster
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#5: Post by yakster »

The mucilage and silverskin will also light up under UV light in my experience. You may be getting false positives.
-Chris

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Marcelnl
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#6: Post by Marcelnl »

GDM528 wrote:It all began with me reading a couple articles on using a UV light to sort out 'bad' greens:
The recommended procedure was to spread out the greens in a darkened room, turn on the UV light, pluck out the greens that glow brighter than the overall population, and calculate the percentage of glowy-bad greens. Okey dokey I thought; I'll try that with my year-old bag of greens - they lit up like a Vegas casino...

I'm still reading up on this, but florescence is associated with many strains of fungi. Even my sourdough starter glows. So, my first guess is there's mold or yeast growing on my greens. Harmless, granted, but maybe they're adding something to the taste that I'd rather not experience. Hence, killing them off before they get sealed up for a long-term storage scenario. And yes, this is just one of many ways the greens degrade over time, but I'll take bland over phenolic any day.

I'm aware of the canon associated with greens storage. Just exploring other possibilities, and coming to HB to collect any prior wisdom on the topic...
what Yakster wrote, plus; if you buy greens with fungus or whatever in them you can only perhaps kill a percentage of the fungus on the outside but never kill what is growing on the inside...a mushroom is the 'flower' of fungi, the core bit is hidden in the host (dirt/wood/tree etc.)

So just buy some great greens and test those, see if there is a difference and you can put this to bed, (or use UV light as post purchasing quality control)
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archipelago

#7: Post by archipelago »

Hey there, I think you may have read a couple of my posts. Irradiating coffee wouldn't actually solve for shelf life and fade; fade is caused by myriad factors-only one of which being microbial activity. Lipid oxidation is far and away the most significant cause.

Also, to be clear-UV lights don't indicate presence of microbial life.

Mbb

#8: Post by Mbb »

I think basically radiation kills bacteria... They do this in Europe and they store milk on the shelf unrefrigerated. That's just wrong, imo. They store eggs on the shelf unrefrigerated in Europe too and I'm not sure how they do that.... It's the eggshell coating that washes off and then becomes permeable to oxygen, and it's not in fresh eggs and they can be stored unrefrigerated.

Basically you're talking about different kind of spoilage then irradiated foods

Marcelnl
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#9: Post by Marcelnl replying to Mbb »


I'm confused, what is the issue at hand ?

eggs, coffee? what you perceive as wrong may not be wrong....
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Milligan

#10: Post by Milligan »

I'm failing to understand why if you are going to freeze anyway? Freezing in an air tight container would stop nearly all microbial activity. Pulling it out and roasting it kills everything. I don't see the point of another step?