The pulp of the coffee fruit, which is usually a waste product, becomes CoffeeFlour, a nutrient-dense gluten-free flour.
Billions of pounds of coffee cherry pulp are produced each year as a byproduct of the global coffee industry, which often goes to waste, but one enterprising company is converting some of that into a flour that can be used as a nutritious alternative to grain-based flours. The aptly named Coffee Flour only has a tiny bit of caffeine and no coffee taste to it, but is instead said to have "floral, citrus and roasted fruit notes" in its flavor. This gluten-free alternative is described as being "a nutritious and distinctly flavorful ingredient" that promises to bring social, environmental, and economic benefits to coffee growing regions.
The company is currently running coffee waste-to-flour operations in Hawaii, Nicaragua, Guatemala, Mexico, and Vietnam, with more locations coming in the future. The company's founder, Dan Belliveau, refers to its product as a 'found food' that can reduce waste while also generate more revenue for the growers.
"Coffee waste is actually something that has been on coffee growers’ minds for as long as coffee has been commercialized. The coffee cherry waste stream has historically been something that ‘had to be dealt with,’ as it takes a significant amount of property to store coffee cherry pulp throughout harvest time and then requires extra labor to dispose of the pulp after harvest." - Dan Belliveau
The company also claims that Coffee Flour is very nutritious, and contains more (per gram) iron than spinach, more fiber than whole grain wheat flour, less fat and more fiber per gram than coconut flour, more antioxidants than a pomegranate, more protein than fresh kale, and more potassium than a banana.
The product is for sale online and at select retailers, and can be used for baking or cooking, or even as an addition to smoothies, soups, or sauces. According to Nuts.com, the flour is intended to be mixed with other flours because of its high fiber content, and the recommendation is to use "30% coffee flour in place of all-purpose flour or other gluten-free flours" in recipes.