Any chemists in the House?

Undergrind Roasters

New member
Mar 23, 2009
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We use a BBQ drum roasting method, and manually turn, and get ALOT* of smoke inhaled. Does anyone know about the dangers or lack of dangers of short- and long-term inhalation of roasting beans?

I'll give you a gold star if any one of yous guys can dig up a scientific article, which I'd love to be emailed.

*Varies from minimal to breath holding and eye squinting.


New member
Jun 29, 2008
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Some article exist on this subject but I don't believe there have been any long term studies on the effects of coffee smoke. A Puget Sound Clean Air Agency study revealed that in addition to carbon dioxide and carbon monoxide, coffee emissions consisted of Formaldehyde, Acetaldehyde and Acrolein. I can't imagine prolonged smoke inhalation to be good for your health.

There are also many studies being done on Acrylamide in coffee and it's links to cancer.

In addition, roasters who flavor their coffee with syrups should be aware that the MSDS sheet for propylene glycol states that- Implicated in contact dermatitis, kidney damage and liver abnormalities; can inhabit skin cell growth in human tests and can damage cell membranes causing rashes, dry skin and surface damage. Propylene Glycol is also found in Anti-Freeze and Brake fluid. The federal National Toxicology Program, which collects health and safety data on chemicals, calls propylene glycol both a skin and eye irritant. Another federal agency, the National Institute of Environmental Health Sciences, considers propylene oxide, used to make propylene glycol, a likely carcinogen.


Super Moderator
Staff member
Aug 14, 2003
Boca Raton
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Uh oh...Propylene Glycol is in some medicines, cosmetics, tooth paste and mouth wash.. I have asked a friend of mine who knows the skinny on propylene glycol to chime in on this... I am not a flavored coffee drinker..but I do like brushing my teeth..have been all my life and I do not have any health issues. In regards to the smoke. I can not imagine any smoke inhalation to be a good thing. I can say we had some air quality experts come out and test the air quality(not just once..but twice) while we ran production and all test came back clear.


Nov 12, 2008
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Yikes, too many chemicals but just breathing the air gives you too much carbon monoxide.

I need to read more on the acrylamide but if anyone where serious about cutting that out, they would stop eating french fries and potato chips to start.......probably anything out of the deep fryer.