Sustainability is a dynamic process in which long-term environmental, social, and economical requirements should be fulfilled by an integrated way without compromising the capacity of future generations to meet their own needs.
The wastes produced along the coffee chain in both producing and importer countries are undoubtedly a source of contamination and a serious environmental problem. For that reason, several efforts have been made to investigate and develop processes for their valorization and use. Nevertheless, integrated strategies are still necessary always having in mind the sustainability of the coffee chain.
In 2005, the International Coffee Organization (ICO) spread a copy of a document about the potential uses of coffee wastes and by-products that was prepared by a team working on the reformulation of a project entitled “Use of coffee by-products and alternative uses for low-grade coffee” submitted by Costa Rica and approved by the Council in 2003.
The development of a full-scale project was coordinated with the International Center for Science and High Technology – United Nations Industrial Development Organization (ICS-UNIDO). In that document, Rathinavelu and Graziosi summarize several of the different possibilities of coffee wastes/ by-products applications, namely in the production of feed, beverages, vinegar, biogas, caffeine, pectin, pectic enzymes, protein, and compost. This could be seen as a way to inspirit ICO Members and community to give attention to such practices, in addition to publicize the relevant work that was being developed.
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