Coffee Flour: Turning Waste Into A New Superfood

The coffee industry produces substantial amounts of waste each year. One of these waste product is coffee cherry pulp, a byproduct of green coffee production. Seattle based company CoffeeFlour  however are converting this coffee byproduct into a trending new superfood – a flour that can be used in everything from past to candy. Their aim is to add benefit for all stakeholders in the coffee production industry.

Coffee cherry pulp, which come from coffee fruits, are highly valued for their taste. The problem however is that they begin to spoil almost immediately after being picked. As a result, many farmers worldwide are left to dump the rotting fruit into rivers or let it decay in heaps.  Dan Belliveau, inventor and CEO of CoffeeFlour (and a former Starbucks engineer who looked out for waste in their processing systems) saw potential in this waste and hence CoffeeFlour was created.

To process the waste fruits, Belliveau dries the cherries and then mills them into a fine flour The flour does not taste like coffee, but rather fruit that is suitable as a sugar substitute. The fruit furthermore has numerous beneficial properties including more fibre than whole wheat, more iron than spinach and more potassium than bananas.

As an added economic incentive for coffee farmers, selling the fruits rather then dumping them adds an additional stream of revenue. Processing the fruits additionally creates additional jobs within the industry.

As far the benefits of this innovation go, Belliveau says: ‘It’s the same business at the end, but you’ve done two things,” he says. “You’ve impacted a far greater number of people and farms and countries, and you’ve also taken more product out of the environment that’s polluting rivers and groundwater and even creating places for mosquitoes to grow. And you’ve turned it into a food supply that can be used locally and also exported.’

Though CoffeeFlour is not yet available on shelves yet, its  growing recognition by chefs suggests future mainstream availability and who knows, Coffee flour may well be the next superfood.

You can discover more about some additional innovative material solutions for coffee waste in our Materia catalogue including Coffee Panels and Coffee Flooring!