Q: What is coffeefruit and is it healthful to consume?
A: Coffee beans are one of the world’s most widely traded and most valuable crops, and the U.S. is the world’s largest consumer. The coffee bean is technically not a bean at all, but a seed. Like other seeds, it originates from a fruit; in this case the Coffea flowering plants in the Rubiaceae family.
Coffee, as a drink, is well-documented as a top source of antioxidants in Americans’ diets, so it’s no surprise that coffeefruit is also rich in antioxidants. And, unlike the coffee bean, it is high in the antioxidant vitamin C.
The fruit is not widely available currently, but production is increasing because turning what is currently a waste byproduct of coffee production into a commodity has wide appeal. And, consumer interest in new foods is high. But we must also remember that most fruits are high in antioxidants and vitamin C, so, although it is appealing to try exotic new fruits, you don’t have to eat coffeefruit to get the benefits of these nutrients. Instead, you can simply enjoy your local fruits with your regular cup of coffee.
(Reprinted with permission from Environmental Nutrition, a monthly publication of Belvoir Media Group, LLC. 800-829-5384. www.EnvironmentalNutrition.com.)
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