FTIR and Chemometrics as Effective Tools in Predicting the Quality of Specialty Coffees

  • Verônica BelchiorEmail author
  • Bruno Gonçalves Botelho
  • Susana Casal
  • Leandro S. Oliveira
  • Adriana S. Franca


Cup tasting is the most important tool to access the quality of coffee beans. However, the use of sensory evaluation alone can present some problems, since bias from the previous knowledge of a particular sample and health conditions of the taster can influence the results. Given the well-established potential of spectroscopic methods in coffee quality evaluation, in the present study, we sought to evaluate the potential of FTIR spectroscopy for quantitative evaluation of specialty coffee quality. Samples of specialty coffee were provided by the Federação dos Cafeicultores do Cerrado Mineiro and Fazenda Barinas. They were roasted in IKAWA coffee roaster, analyzed by a group of Q-graders, and submitted to FTIR analysis. Physicochemical analyses (pH, titratable acidity, brix, total solids, and browning compounds) were also employed to show potential differences. Only pH showed significant difference between the beverages. PLS results showed consistent models for predicting the quality previously given by the cuppers, with low values of RMSEC and RMSEP (0.23 both). Also, the models showed high values of Rc (0.99) and Rv (0.97). The whole spectra were considered as important to classify the coffees by their quality, showing the complexity of the beverage.


Cup quality Chemometrics Partial least square regression (PLS) Attenuated total reflectance (ATR) Fourier transform infrared spectroscopy (FTIR) Specialty Coffee Association (SCA) 


Conflict of Interest Statement

Verônica Belchior declares that she has no conflict of interest. Bruno Gonçalves Botelho declares that he has no conflict of interest. Susana Casal declares that she has no conflict of interest. Leandro S. Oliveira declares that he has no conflict of interest. Adriana S. Franca declares that she has no conflict of interest.

Informed Consent

Informed consent was obtained from all individual participants included in the study.

Funding Information

This work was financially supported by the Brazilian Government Agency CNPq and CAPES. Part of this work was developed at the University of Porto, supported by the European Union (FEDER funds POCI/01/0145/FEDER/007265) and National Funds (FCT/MEC) under the Partnership Agreement PT2020 UID/QUI/50006/2013.

Compliance with Ethical Standards

All procedures performed in studies involving human participants were submitted and approved by the Ethics Committee on Research with Human Subjects (CAAE, UNIBH, Belo Horizonte, Minas Gerais, Brazil, 56961316.0.0000.5093).


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Copyright information

© Springer Science+Business Media, LLC, part of Springer Nature 2019

Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.PPGCAUniversidade Federal de Minas GeraisBelo HorizonteBrazil
  2. 2.DQUniversidade Federal de Minas GeraisBelo HorizonteBrazil
  3. 3.LAQV/REQUIMTE, Faculdade de FarmáciaUniversidade do PortoPortoPortugal
  4. 4.DEMECUniversidade Federal de Minas GeraisBelo HorizonteBrazil

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