Coffee was made official as a national symbol of Costa Rica in the year 2021 due to the economic prosperity it has brought to the country. This product is one of the most important and has eight coffee growing areas distributed between low and high areas: Brunca, Turrialba, Tres Ríos, Orosi, Tarrazú, Central and Western Valleys, and Guanacaste.
The favorable climatic conditions, added to the effort of coffee producers to a high quality, has led the country to draw up a roadmap to boost its growth and productivity for the benefit of the nation, and from the Institute of Technical Standards of Costa Rica (INTECO) we have provided regulations that contribute to generating that added value to position it within the list of the best in the world.
The highest technical standards
“We have coordinated the process of creating technical standards that add value to the diversity that this product has, for example, it has been regulated for roasted, green, ground coffee, in the different stages of its production chain. We have the possibility of providing all the technical standards that are necessary for Costa Rica to improve its competitiveness, in any product or service, since we understand that quality is a fundamental mechanism to ensure transparency in efficiency in any process”, said Marbeth Delgado, INTECO standardization project manager.
Within the wide range of regulations that INTECO has available, they range from the requirements for this product to be marketed and to guarantee that it meets high standards, with the INTE A75:2022 Green Coffee standard. Requirements; up to a sampling to verify that the green coffee in bags has a basis so that the coffee to be offered for sale meets the producer’s specification, this with the INTE/ISO 4072:2011 Green Coffee in bags standard.
In addition, the technical standards also represent a guide to good practices to prevent or reduce Ochratoxin A (OTA) contamination: a mycotoxin that is produced by various types of fungi and is harmful to the body, it can be prevented or reduced in coffee green, considering the different stages of harvesting and industrialization even before being roasted or exported, thanks to the INTE A120:2019 standard Guide to good practices to prevent and reduce contamination of Ochratoxin A (OTA) in green coffee.
The 16 main defects potentially present in green coffee marketed throughout the world are classified into two categories, depending on the severity of the defect, they are analyzed and counted to generate a final evaluation that becomes a useful tool for the commercial parties involved as It provides a good indicator to the buyer in relation to the quality of the green coffee that they are going to buy, thanks to the INTE A77:2011 Green Coffee standard.
“Aspects such as storage and transportation have also been standardized to minimize the risk of infestation, contamination and deterioration of the quality of green coffee in sacks and in “big bags” (modern flexible plastic fabric fiber containers, capable of containing up to 1,000 liters of coffee beans in bulk), from the moment of packaging for export until the moment of arrival in the importing country, with the INTE/ISO 8455:2020 Green Coffee standard. Storage and transportation guide, a guide of these conditions is generated that also results in a quality final product”, explained Delgado.
The amount of caffeine in coffee: green, roasted, soluble, whether they are non-decaffeinated (regular) or decaffeinated; instant mixes of coffee products (for example, coffee/chicory mix, or cappuccino-type coffee drink) is also standardized in INTE/ISO 20481:2019 Coffee and coffee products. Determination of caffeine content Using high performance liquid chromatography (HPLC). Reference method, always looking for the final product to meet high standards and satisfy the needs and tastes of consumers.
At INTECO we celebrate this International Coffee Day remembering our willingness to contribute to the quality of processes and products, so that our flagship product continues to shine abroad, pleasing palates and generating economic prosperity for both producers, marketers, and for our country.