"Coffee is the second-most traded commodity in the world [produced in 50 countries]. The wet processing of 1 kg of coffee produces the equivalent pollution generated by 5.6 people per day," said co-founder of Sanam, Juan David Salazar.
The coffee industry utilizes a small portion of the coffee cherry (the bean) which means that the skin and pulp – known in Latin America as ‘cascara’ – of the fruit becomes waste. In Colombia, one of the top producers of coffee worldwide, coffee byproduct has found use as fertilizer for the agricultural sector, but in limited amounts.
"The byproducts of coffee comprise nearly 60% of the cherry, available raw materials that are frequently hurled to rivers," said the company.
Despite its reputation as a byproduct, the cascara has some positive nutritional properties. According to coffee company Panama Varietals, 100g of cascara contains 50% of the recommended daily intake of biotin and vitamin E, 10% of B1 and B2, 13% of niacin, and 18% of pantothenic acid, as well as 35g of fiber and 6.15g of protein. The coffee fruit is also an antioxidant powerhouse, packed with polyphenol compounds including proanthocyanidins, chlorogenic acid, quinic acid, ferulic acid, and caffeic acid.
Creating value-added products
Physical and chemical processes, patented by Sanam, help to stabilize and concentrate the mucilage (a polysaccharide substance extracted as a viscous or gelatinous solution from plant materials) and the skin, preserving its natural nutrients, "thus obtaining products suitable for consumption."
"Consumers appreciate high value products and there are a lot of international companies that are in constant search innovation and natural and healthy, sustainable products," said Salazar.
Sanam launched a gluten-free coffee flour product made from the husk and pulp of the coffee cherry in 2017. It also sells a line of functional, energy drinks called 'Eky'. According to the company, it coffee fruit concentrate ingredient can be used to formulate other consumer products such as snack bars, functional beverages, and energy gels.
Sanam will be exhibiting at the upcoming Natural Products Expo West show (booth #M305) next week in Anaheim, California.