ISO develops new standard for 100% pure soluble coffee

By Helen Glaberson

- Last updated on GMT

The International Organization for Standardization (ISO) has developed a new standard to certify the 100 per cent purity and quality of soluble coffee powder to detect misleading declarations and counterfeit products.

The new ISO standard, ISO 24114: 2011,Instant coffee – Criteria for authenticity​, is intended for use by anybody buying pure soluble coffee, with the aid of a qualified laboratory.

“Incorrect declarations claiming to be 100 per cent pure soluble coffee, but with accidental or fraudulent additions, deceive consumers, and result in unfair competition between manufacturers,” ​said​Marino Petracco, chair of the ISO subcommittee that developed the standard.

For both the benefit of consumers and coffee manufacturers, ISO 24114 will be an invaluable aid, ensuring the veracity of declarations, and strengthening the mutual confidence throughout the coffee chain," ​he said.

Pure soluble coffee is defined as​a​product prepared exclusively by the extraction of roasted coffee beans .

Adulterated soluble coffee is defined as​products prepared raw or​roasted materials other than coffee beans, and where the product is sold as pure soluble coffee but the addition of​the non-coffee bean material is not declared on the label.


Based on the analysis of over 1000 samples of commercial soluble coffees, adulteration is detected by the determination of two indicator carbohydrates: total glucose and total xylose.

The ISO claims the test is sufficient to establish authenticity, independently of the commercial quality of the coffee or its processing conditions.

According to the ISO 11292, a commercial product sold as 100 per cent pure soluble coffee, with a total glucose and a total xylose content exceeding its corresponding specification limit of 2,46 and 0,45, respectively is considered as adulterated.

The maximum contents of the carbohydrate indicators were calculated using a statistical model called mixture of distributions.

The model assumes that the observed overall distribution of a carbohydrate indicator is a mixture of several distributions, corresponding to pure soluble coffee and different kinds of adulterated coffees.

ISO is a worldwide federation of national standards bodies (ISO member bodies). The work of preparing International Standards is normally carried out through ISO technical committees.

ISO 24114 was developed by technical committee ISO/TC 34, Food products​, subcommittee SC 15, Coffee​.

The standard is available from ISO national member institutes​. It can also be obtained directly from the ISO Central Secretariat, through the ISO Store​ or by contacting the Marketing, Communication & Information department.

Related topics: Regulation & Safety, Tea and Coffee

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