(LONDRINA, Brazil) — If your coffee starts tasting differently, blame it on wood, twigs, husks and even clumps of earth. With droughts and plant diseases affecting coffee supplies in countries like Brazil, coffee makers are beginning to dilute their beverages with filler.
That’s not good news for regular coffee drinkers but there is help on the horizon.
Suzana Lucy Nixdorf and researchers at State University of Londrina in Brazil say they’re close to developing a test that can pretty much spot any filler used by unscrupulous coffee makers with 95 percent accuracy.
Beside the fillers already mentioned, other additives include barley, wheat, soybeans, rice, beans, acai seed, brown sugar or starch syrup, which once roasted, can be difficult to ascertain through conventional means.
Nixdorf says her team uses liquid chromatography that has proven effective in detecting coffee that has been tampered with.
Copyright 2014 ABC News Radio
Jackie Wattles, CNN