The permanence of harvested fruits in the plantation can cause irreversible damage to Conilon coffee quality, possibly increasing the overall number of defects, causing losses to crop yield and changing the organoleptic properties of the product. The objective of this study was to quantify the changes caused by permanence time of the Conilon coffee in the plantation after harvest over the mass and classification of the product. The experiment followed a completely random design, with 8 treatments and 4 repetitions, using standardized bags of mature fruits of Coffea canephora Pierre ex Froehner that were kept in the plantation field for periods of 0, 1, 2, 3, 4, 6, 8 or 10 days after manual harvest of the grains. After these periods, the coffee was dried, processed and weighted to quantify losses. The samples from each parcel were used to classify the resulting coffee regarding grain size in standardized classification sieves (sieves 12, 11 and 10 for round grains; sieves 17, 15 and 13 for flat grains), grain defects (brocaded, sour, black, defective percentage and total number of defects) and yield losses (dried coffee weight and processing ratio). The results showed that keeping the harvested fruits in the plantation causes losses over mass and over the overall product classification, affecting grain size and increasing the number and type of defects. This reinforces the recommendation to transport the harvested coffee for drying as soon as possible after harvesting.
Key words: Coffea canephora, harvest, grain defects, quality, physical classification.