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Coffee Flour Grinds Down Food Waste

A new startup is making an edible product out of fruit pulp from coffee plants that farmers usually dump.

Coffee “cherries” are tasty fruits covering the bean, but the flesh doesn’t ship well in its fresh form and causes headaches for farmers.

A Seattle startup has invented a way to recapture a byproduct of coffee farming – the sweet, vitamin-rich fruit surrounding the bean.

Farmers usually have to dispose of this flesh, which spoils almost immediately after harvest.

Founder Dan Belliveau developed a way to dry the fruit and grind it into a durable “flour.”

The powder can be used to add a zip to baked goods (it does have a little leftover caffeine), pasta, candy or even steeped into a tea.

Belliveau’s company, Coffee Flour, cranked out 4.5 million pounds of the stuff last year, recycling waste from farms from Central America to Southeast Asia.

The pulp can be composted for fertilizer, but provides only a little benefit for building soil.

Farmers who sell the pulp can make an extra three cents per pound on a crop that often yields only five to ten cents of profit per pound.

Read More:

  • How Food Waste From The Coffee Industry Is Making Chocolate More Delicious (Co.Exist)
  • Coffee Flour: How Innovators Turned A Waste Product Into A Superfood (Seattle Times)
Chad Bouchard

Chad Bouchard is a veteran reporter and WFIU alum who has covered wild and wooly beats from Indonesia to Capitol Hill. His radio work has aired on NPR, PRI and Voice of America, and his writing has appeared in The Sunday Telegraph and Scientific American’s health magazine, Lives. He has also spent a lifetime gardening, foraging and eating weird stuff.

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