Genetic Variability and Correlation of Biochemical and Sensory Characteristics of Coffee

  •  Jane Jerono Cheserek    
  •  Kahiu Ngugi    
  •  James Wanjohi Muthomi    
  •  Chrispine Ogutu Omondi    
  •  Cecelia Wakigondi Kathurima    


Organoleptic and biochemical attributes in the coffee bean determine the final cup quality of coffee which is a critical factor in the price determination of coffee in the market. The study aimed at determining the genetic variability of the green coffee bean. The trial sites were located at Siaya and Busia counties in Kenya. Nineteen different genotypes were established and included Arabusta coffee hybrids, backcrosses of Arabica to tetraploid Robusta, Arabica coffee, Robusta coffee, and Arabusta coffee. Randomized Complete Block Design with three replications in each site was used in conducting the experiment. The coffee beans were harvested in the year 2018 and extraction and calculation of sucrose, trigonelline, caffeine, and chlorogenic acids was carried using the recommended methods. The cupping procedure involved the use of five judges in assessing the flavor, aroma, balance, overall standard, acidity, body, and aftertaste of the roasted coffee beans. The sensory evaluation used the Specialty Coffee Association (SCA) method. There were significant variations recorded for the traits that were measured. All the traits were highly heritable registering values of > 50% for heritability whereby, caffeine and oil were highly heritable traits with 90.8% and 88.9% respectively. Oil had a high phenotypic coefficient of variation, genotypic variation, and response values when compared to the other traits. All the organoleptic traits were positively correlated with sucrose, trigonelline, and oil but the correlation with caffeine and chlorogenic acids was negative. The genotypic effects contributed largely to the high heritability recorded with a low influence from the environmental factors.

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