Technology by ProfilePrint Is Changing How We Grade Coffee
BY YKER VALERIO
SPECIAL TO BARISTA MAGAZINE ONLINE
Photos courtesy of ProfilePrint
Currently, trained experts are needed to find defects in green coffee, and cupping coffee is time-consuming, as well as often requiring many coffee beans. This process was previously unavoidable, but these days that is no longer the case. Technology is transforming coffee-grading processes.
ProfilePrint is a Singapore-based A.I.-powered food fingerprint platform taking big steps to automate a vast amount of the coffee quality assessment process.
While the perceived value of a cup of brewed coffee varies greatly, the industry established objective quality control criteria decades ago, which are evolving to this day. Although critical for coffee businesses worldwide, quality assurance is a costly and challenging process because it requires the expertise of well-trained sensory analysts, and a significant amount of coffee and water.
However, ProfilePrint’s technology uses A.I. to assess the quality of food ingredients, running a non-destructive scanning process. As a result, ProfilePrint’s clients can get much quicker and more accurate results without sacrificing their product.
Improving Quality Assurance
Artificial intelligence excels in a particular type of task. Basically, A.I. performs at its best when working with predictable tasks with large amounts of data available for training. And this scenario fits perfectly with coffee grading.
It’s possible to analyze small coffee samples at a molecular level using artificial intelligence and advanced sensory technology. In other words, to identify coffee defects, companies can use artificial intelligence to “teach“ computers to “cup coffee.“ But instead of running cupping simulations, ProfilePrint predicts sensory profiles based on the molecular analysis of the coffee samples.
ProfilePrint needs only 50 grams of coffee beans to scan the coffee and generate a digital report, complete with cupping scores and relevant sensory parameters.
Besides processing complex information accurately, ProfilePrint also makes sharing reports with potential buyers and partners easier. The company has created a machine learning model to analyze 50 grams of coffee beans and generate a digital report. This report includes data on the coffee’s flavor profile and other metrics.
The Future of Coffee Quality Assurance
ProfilePrint’s technology offers plenty of benefits. Still, perhaps the most important is that it has the potential to redefine how we grade coffee.
Will artificial intelligence replace human sensory analysts? It may be too early to answer this question. Still, it’s more likely that professional roles will change soon, but not necessarily disappear.
Bear in mind that personal preference is harder to predict and varies greatly, even between countries and cultures. So, the role of sensory analysts might be strongly related in the future to cater to more specific needs. Besides, artificial intelligence needs specific protocols to design profiles and predict sensory properties.
ProfilePrint has grown considerably since its launch last year, thanks to its promising features and benefits. The company has secured investors from big names in the food and beverage industry, such as Sucafina, Olam Food Ingredients, and Louis Dreyfus Company, among others. As a result, ProfilePrint has gained momentum in a relatively short amount of time.
What should we expect for the future? Hopefully, the result is a more efficient and transparent coffee value chain.
ABOUT THE AUTHOR
Yker Valerio (he/him) is a freelance content creator. After more than 10 years of working as a management consultant, he started the blog Bon Vivant Caffè to share his passion for specialty coffee.
Source: Barista Magazine