Majority of Filipinos are coffee drinkers. The growing number of coffee shops in almost every corner of the metro has become the most evident indication that the coffee industry is a thriving business. Whether it’s a form of social activity or simply a favorite pastime, drinking coffee has become an inevitable trend.
With the popularity of coffee as a beverage comes the cautious effort to lessen the caffeine intake especially among health conscious consumers. Hence, introducing alternative drinks that will let people enjoy drinking coffee without worrying too much caffeine intake.
“Corn coffee looks and tastes like your good ol’ caffeinated coffee, but it is healthier to drink. Perhaps a distinction comes with the aroma since corn coffee comes from ground, roasted corn,” explained Mr. Chito Rodriguez of the Institute of Plant Breeding-University of the Philippines Los Baños (IPB-UPLB) in a seminar talk organized by the Bureau of Agricultural Research (BAR).
In the presentation titled, “Corn Coffee: Health and Economic Benefits,” Rodriguez underscored the “dark side of caffeine” one common of which are panic attacks. “Caffeine intake triggers the fight-or-flight mechanism in our bodies. When the fight attack mode wears off, panic attack starts. We get nervous, jittery, sweaty, and shaky. Caffeine is also addictive so once we get into the habit of getting our caffeine fix, our body begins to crave the boost that we get from it. If we fail to get the dose of caffeine that our body has adapted to, we become irritable, tired, and even depressed,” Rodriguez explained.
Given the side effects of caffeine, he advised trying coffee corn instead.
The healthful benefit
Essentially, the healthful benefits came from corn which is packed with vital nutrients that provide energy, growth and development, and regulate bodily functions.
“Although some of these may have been reduced after roasting and grinding the corn, the essential nutrients are still there. Every 100 gram of corn coffee contains carbohydrates, fiber, ash, protein, and antioxidants,” explained Rodriguez.
In a taste test conducted after the seminar, Mr. Patrick Lesaca, one of the participants and a coffee enthusiast, revealed that, “corn coffee does look like your regular cup of coffee, except that it smells roasted corn.”
“Clearly, a great distinction comes with the health value of corn coffee. The dark liquid you are drinking is caffeine free and is healthier,” Rodriguez added.
Aside from the nutritive value, Rodriguez enumerated some of the healthful benefits one can get from drinking corn coffee. “It can control diabetes, prevent cardiovascular disease, lower hypertension, reduce cholesterol level, minimize risk of colon cancer, and prevent neural-tube defects in infants,” he reported.
The economic benefit
Corn coffee is not new. In fact, people in the province have been boiling their roasted, ground corn as alternative to coffee.
Currently, with the advent of new technologies and the need for healthy alternative, corn coffee has already reached the mainstream market. It is being commercially sold and is available in the supermarket, one of which is the famous Sumilao Corn Coffee™.
“But if you want to produce your own coffee, it’s easy. Ground corn is roasted until the color turns to dark brown. The resulting coffee powder is boiled for 10-15 minutes. You just allow the sediments to settle and then get the black liquid and then your hot corn coffee is ready to serve. Sugar and cream can also be added to enhance the taste,” explained Rodriguez.
The production cost of corn coffee is cheap. “One kilogram of corn when processed can produce an approximately one kilogram of coffee,” he said. When packaged, the production cost is about Php120 per kilogram. Corn coffee is currently being sold in the market from Php 350 – Php 500 for every kilogram. This means at least Php230 profit for every kilo of corn coffee sold.
For more information about corn coffee, please contact Mr. Chito Rodriguez of the University of the Philippines Los Baños (UPLB), College, Laguna or through his email: firstname.lastname@example.org
Source: Rita T. dela Cruz, Bar Chronicle June 2012 Issue (Vol. 13 No. 6)