I came across this article, “Debunking The Myth About Mycotoxins in Coffee” by Kris Gunnars and it really gives a good perspective on this topic.
In summary, coffee does contain a presence of mycotoxins but the levels are so low that there really does not need to be any need for concern.
Here are some of the points made in the article:
- several studies have found measurable levels of mycotoxins in coffee beans, both roasted and unroasted, as well as brewed coffee:
- 20 of 60 samples of green coffee beans from Brazil had low levels of Ochratoxin A (6).
- 18 of 40 coffee brews from commercially available coffee beans contained Ochratoxin A (7).
- Aflatoxins have been found in green coffee beans, the highest level in decaffeinated beans. Roasting reduced the levels by 42-55% (8).
- 8 of 30 roast coffees contained Ochratoxin A, but much higher amounts were found in chili (9).
- There are many different types of mycotoxins, but the ones most relevant to coffee crops are called Aflatoxin B1 and Ochratoxin A.
This issue is being taken very seriously. Coffee growers perform the following tasks to minimize the presence of mycotoxins in their coffee.
The most important method is called wet processing, which effectively gets rid of most of the molds and mycotoxins (14).
Roasting the beans also kills the molds that produce the mycotoxins. According to one study, roasting can reduce the levels of Ochratoxin A by 69-96% (15).
Coffee’s quality is actually rated according to a grading system. Having molds or mycotoxins significantly lowers the score… and if they exceed a certain level, the crops will be discarded.
I would encourage you to read the article menitioned here and learn more about this topic