The Italian Almanac

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Italian News - January 23

Italian researchers have developed an easy-to-use kit which can identify a coffee bean's DNA and thus ensure a quality morning brew. The research was sponsored by the National Research Council and carried out by Milan's Agrarian Biology and Biotechnology Institute (IBBA).

The fact that a perfect cup of coffee can now be scientifically guaranteed, without having to rely on one's own sense of taste and smell, will be good news especially to coffee drinkers in Italy, where half of the adult population claims to consume two to three cups a day and 3% having as many as five.

The kit is easy to use, explained IBBA researcher Diego Breviario, "all you need to to do is take a bean, crush it, place some of the grains in a prepared enzyme solution and wait a half an hour". A second substance is then added which produces a color code which will indicate the coffee type and origin.

The kit, which once in mass production will not be expensive, was primarily developed for farmers and the food industry but there are those who believe it will quickly become a consumer sensation. Italians consider their morning coffee to be a rite and some 30 million espressos and cappuccinos are prepared every day in bars and cafés for a total of more than 192 tonnes of beans and a value of 21 million Euro.