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IMA Coffee Lab presents the new format “From bean to capsule” including workshops on coffee roasting and packaging

Participants had the possibility on October 18 to try out the full line, performing roasting sessions and compostable capsule filling and sealing demonstrations

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FERRARA, Italy – Another interesting Academy Day was held on October 18, 2023, after the Host Milano Exhibition, at the IMA Coffee Lab: a day of sharing and training attended by insiders, which included a program packed full with papers and workshops on roasting and coffee packaging, with the participation of coffee experts, packaging specialists and international producers.

From bean to capsule” is the name of this new format of Academy Day at the IMA Coffee Lab: a unique experiential journey through the coffee processing and packaging, to discover and manage the key drivers of coffee bean transformation, from the coffee varieties to how each roasting profile affects the aroma and taste of the coffee extracted from the capsule.

Over than 50 coffee professionals from all over the world attended the Academy Day and had the opportunity to discover the IMA Coffee Lab, at the IMA Petroncini production facilities in Ferrara, and try out its pilot plant, the scaled-down coffee factory processing coffee from A to Z, exploring each and every way to enhance the quality of coffee and the efficiency of coffee processing and packaging

Workshops: flexible roasting for infinite aromas

Participants had the possibility to try out the full line, performing roasting sessions and compostable capsule filling and sealing demonstrations.

Alongside IMA Coffee trainers and high specialised staff, participants tested the green, roasted and ground coffee for key parameters, and carried out quality analysis and in-cup tasting.

ima coffee
The participants at the format “From bean to capsule” (image provided)

Three different roasting profiles were designed with the specific objective of creating different aromas and flavours in the cup, while maintaining the same grind specifications and the same amount of coffee in the capsule.

Participants were able to experience the flexibility of the TMR roaster in designing three different roasting profiles with the same final temperature and colour: a fast roasting profile with a high amount of airflow, a medium-long profile with a low amount of airflow and a medium-long profile with a high amount of airflow.

The roasting sessions were followed by compostable capsule filling and sealing demonstrations on the SR1 Smart, one of IMA Coffee’s most reliable fillers for the handling of compostable capsules, even in low production volumes.

Comparative cupping sessions have been conducted by Matteo Barbarossa, Coffee Expert at IMA Coffee Hub, to recognise how different roasting profiles can decisively influence the final taste of capsule coffee by targeting the same ultimate colour of roasted beans, processing the same green origin.

Coffee Talks

Through several Coffee Talks throughout the day, participants had the opportunity to deep dive into each step of the process, from the botanical varieties of green coffee to the most accurate and reliable packaging technologies for coffee capsules.

Matteo Barbarossa, Coffee Expert at IMA Coffee Hub, explained how each green coffee origin can influence the roasting profile, analyzing the differences between coffee varieties in terms of chemical and physical characteristics and providing useful tips for conducting the roasting process in a way that enhances each origin in the cup.

Michelangelo Parro, Sales and Product Manager at IMA Coffee Hub offered an in-depth analysis of flexible roasting and degassing processes, which can be considered the crucial steps to achieve the desired aroma in the capsule.

Parro explains: “Roasted coffee batch can have the final color as another, but with totally different aromas and body. With flexible roasting, starting from the same raw product, we can achieve infinite different results with the same ending color, but with predictable times and temperatures thanks to Orchestra, IMA Petroncini’s TMR roasting trend’ simulation and control system”.

“Once the desired final roast is achieved, our goal is to perfectly preserve the coffee’s aromas: for this reason we have engineered CO-Tube, a degassing system in vacuum condition with nitrogen insufflation, which is able to avoid any contact of the coffee with oxygen, while allowing us to prepare a uniform distribution of ground coffee particles inside the capsule” Parro says.

“The particle size distribution of the ground coffee is the most important factor linking coffee processing to capsule packaging” says Alessandro Nobili, Head of Product Management at IMA Coffee – Packaging Solutions, “We have to maintain the same precision in the coffee dosage for each batch, so as to have a constant volume and particle size distribution within each capsule, to guarantee the same quality of extracted coffee”-

Nobili adds: “That is possible thanks to the capacity of the system to control the coffee level inside the dosing unit and minimise the particle wire drowing. Accurate weight is an easy target to respect thanks also to the on-line weighing system which checks each capsule and gives feedback to the dosing unit if automatic adjustments are required.”

Alessandro Nobili conducted an in-depth analysis of the IMA’s innovative technologies for capsule sealing, meant to keep the coffee freshness and aromas inside the capsule until the extraction, especially when it comes to compostable capsule.

This is possible thanks to the capacity of the sealing station to process different sealing times, thanks to the implementation of magnetic shuttles handling the capsules, so allowing customers to select the most appropriate solution based on materials used and the product they are processing. That is crucial for handling different materials on the same machine” Nobili says.

Sustainability spotlight

A round table was set up to discuss how manufacturers can develop low-impact technologies to reduce emissions, thus preserving the resources and maximising energy efficiency.

Manufacturers and roasters so can push the boundaries of sustainability by choosing eco-friendly packaging solutions and processes, minimising environmental impact along the coffee supply chain.

Sustainability is a core pillar of IMA Zero mission, indeed, the IMA program investing in technologies that reduce waste and demonstrate greater respect for the environment.

During the round table discussion on the topic of Energy saving and Emission Treatment in coffee roasting, Maurizio Mazzoni, R&D Manager at IMA Petroncini, Michelangelo Parro, Sales Area and Product Manager at IMA Coffee, and Manuel Marcelli, Managing Director of ReiCat Solutions Italy, emphasised how commitment and collaboration are increasingly important factors to minimise environmental impact in industrial coffee production, developing the best solutions to reduce emissions with innovative low-impact technologies.

“This is evident in the latest projects developed by IMA Petroncini and ReiCat, which combine the sophisticated heat recovery and hot air cleaning system of TMR roasters with ReiCat’s catalytic solutions, achieving the lowest level of CO emissions and meeting positively ESG criteria in terms of environmental sustainability.” Mazzoni says.

When it comes to packaging materials, Martyna Fong, Director Market Intelligence at AMI, and Emanuele Simonini, Materials Technologist at IMA OPENLab, shared their studies and views on new sustainability drivers and packaging waste regulations, along with new eco-friendly projects for coffee packaging that are currently underway at IMA OPENLab to meet the growing demand for compostable and paper-based packaging.

The Academy Day “From bean to capsule” was a real full immersion on coffee, to improve knowledge of the entire process, sharing ideas, projects, business purposes; learning how to achieve limitless aromas from coffee and how to optimise capsule packaging, but it was also the suitable occasion for equipment manufacturers and coffee experts to share best practices and insights on eco-friendly and sustainable processes and packaging solutions, looking at the market trends.

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