top of page

Relationship between Coffee and Mycotoxin

Despite having a bad reputation in the past, coffee is now touted as healthy and packed with much-needed antioxidants. In fact, some studies have shown that coffee drinkers live longer and have a lower risk of serious illness, so drinking a few cups of coffee a day may actually be beneficial rather than unhealthy.

However, there has been a lot of media coverage lately about #Mycotoxins in coffee. These potentially harmful chemicals can pose a higher risk of disease and are harmful to us if we consume enough of them. Some experts also say that many #coffees on the market are contaminated with Mycotoxins and finding and buying coffee beans without Mycotoxins is a gamble (wow, horrible stuff!).

So we decided to research coffee Mycotoxins to see if there was any truth to the matter and if we should all be worried about these toxic toxins left in our coffee.

What are mycotoxins?

The term mycotoxins may sound scary enough and may even discourage you from ever buying coffee. But before you quit coffee, the truth is that mycotoxins in coffee aren't as scary as you might think at first.

Mycotoxins are naturally occurring fungi or molds that live and grow on nearly all crops grown worldwide. There are about 300 Mycotoxins currently known, and they all have different modes of action and different chemical structures. Mycotoxins are most commonly found in areas with high moisture content, warmer temperatures, and relatively high humidity; All these factors provide excellent breeding conditions for the growth and development of Mycotoxins.

Now, it's important to note that not all fungi and molds are harmful to your health. After all, penicillin was discovered from mold, and not to forget edible mushrooms, which also have some important health benefits. However, when it comes to Mycotoxins in coffee, it should be noted that they are a different type of mold. The dose of this mold determines the toxicity level for us humans.

However, when we talk about Mycotoxins in coffee, the crux of the debate is whether these toxins are completely removed from the coffee before moving on to your morning brew. Let's take a closer look.

Mycotoxins and Coffee

In the early stages of coffee production, the beans are green in color and are essentially raw. At this early stage, coffee beans are stored for roasting and mold can occur even while being transported or waiting to be converted into ground coffee.

There are two types of Mycotoxins in coffee, Aflatoxin B1 and Ochratoxin A.

aflatoxin B1

This Mycotoxin is a known carcinogen and research has shown that it can have harmful effects in large doses.

ochratoxin A

This is a Mycotoxin commonly found in coffee as well as grains, fruits, spices and even beer. This type of Mycotoxin can also be transmitted to eggs and meat through contaminated feed.

All this may sound scary, but in most cases, you have nothing to worry about.

All top coffee producers carefully regulate Mycotoxin levels in their coffee. While not every country does this tracking, more than 100 coffee producers do and include details on the exports of their coffees.

Another factor that can help remove mycotoxins from coffee is the roasting process. Roasting contributes to the destruction of many molds and fungi found in coffee beans; some studies have shown that up to 90% can be reached during the roasting process.

Finally, the caffeine in coffee also acts as a Mycotoxin inhibitor. We all know that a cup of coffee is packed with caffeine, and let's be honest, that's one of the reasons we love this stuff. But caffeine does much more than just wake us up, it also acts as a Mycotoxin inhibitor; The more caffeine in your coffee, the less Mycotoxins.

How Can You Reduce the Risk of Mycotoxins in Coffee?

So the likelihood that the coffee you drink will contain Mycotoxins (albeit in minimal quantities), but how can you reduce your risk of getting Mycotoxins in your coffee, or even completely eliminate these unwanted toxins?

Below, we've listed some simple, proven steps that will allow you to enjoy your coffee without ruining your health.

1. Don't Drink Decaffeinated Coffee

Do not drink decaffeinated coffee. As I mentioned above, the caffeine in coffee helps prevent the growth of large amounts of Mycotoxins. Simply put, caffeine acts as a Mycotoxin inhibitor.

2. ​Wet Processed

Always try to drink wet processed coffee. Mycotoxins are typically formed during the drying phase of coffee processing, and green beans are much less likely to contain these molds and fungi than dried beans.

3. Growing Environment

The environment in which the coffee beans are grown also plays a role in the number of Mycotoxins in the coffee.

play. Mold spores are much less likely to grow at higher altitudes, so purchasing coffee beans produced and harvested, for example, in the mountains of Central America, is a simple way to reduce the risk of Mycotoxins in your coffee.

4. Type of Coffee Bean

The type of coffee beans may also be a factor in coffee Mycotoxins. While Robusta varieties contain more caffeine than Arabica (note that caffeine acts as a Mycotoxin inhibitor), they also tend to contain more Mycotoxins. If you want to drink mycotoxin-free coffee, always choose Arabica beans over Robusta beans. Still, the risk is minimal, so if you enjoy your Robusta, you don't need to abandon them.

5. Coffee Blends

While coffee blends taste good, there is no easy way to tell where the beans are coming from, and in some cases, coffee has been blended to mask the "bad taste" beans that would otherwise be discarded. My advice would be to stick with the sole proprietorships rather than those big coffee brands.

Summerizing Coffee Mycotoxins

Almost all coffees you can handle carry a low risk of Mycotoxins, and even if they contain small traces, you would have to consume a lot for it to do any real damage.

In a handful of peanuts, you have a higher chance of ingesting higher doses of Mycotoxins than in your glass of water. The presence of Mycotoxins in coffee is so low in today's coffee society that most government agencies no longer devote resources to studying it; it just isn't worth the time or effort.

It's worth noting that Mycotoxins are not only ingested but also inhaled, so unless you're living in an airtight bubble, you're likely exposed to daily Mycotoxins in your environment, along with other foods you eat. .

There are many more health benefits from drinking coffee, and they outweigh the minimal risk of consuming so many Mycotoxins that you don't have to worry.


bottom of page