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Caffeine is an alkaloid whose consumption has stimulating effects on the autonomic nervous system and the heart. We have always told that its abuse causes cardiac arrhythmia, insomnia and headache. Therefore, some people consume decaffeinated coffee due to health problems or because they want to reduce their dependence on caffeine. On the other hand, there are some recent studies in which some benefits for the heart and nervous system mentioned.
It is during the roasting period when coffee gets almost all its flavour. The process of “decaffeinating” coffee made with green beans, and there are different methods. Some of them developed in a way that minimally affects the taste and aroma. Next, we will talk to you about someone so that you are aware of the whole process.
Moistened coffee beans soaked in water mixed with a green coffee extract, which has previously been reduced caffeine. You can also do this washing only with water. Thanks to the physical phenomenon of osmosis, the beans are decaffeinated and then dried with hot air. As for the water with dissolved caffeine, it pumped through an active carbon filter that absorbs caffeine but leaves other additional compounds that add coffee flavour, so it is ready to be used with new grains. It is the water mixed with a green coffee extract that named at the beginning. This method could say the least harmful.
Methylene Chloride Process
This method uses methylene chloride as a chemical solvent. The green grains are moistened in water so that the surface of the grain becomes porous. They are left to soak in methylene chloride until the caffeine has dissolved. Then the solvent is removed by evaporation. Finally, the beans are washed and dried with hot air. The methylene chloride that used in a process reused for subsequent decaffeination processes. We can say then that this chemical process is more harmful than the previous one.
Carbon dioxide treatment
This treatment consists of circulating carbon dioxide between the grains inside drums that operate at a pressure of 250 to 300 atmospheres. At these pressures, CO2 acquires unique properties that give it a density similar to that of a fluid and the diffusion capacity of a gas, which allows it to penetrate the grains and dissolve the caffeine. Caffeine-rich CO2 channelled through a charcoal filter that absorbs it, allowing it to return to the circuit and drums. After this process, the decaffeinated beans dried with hot air. This treatment does not entail any risk for its consumption.
It would be very interesting and almost forced for brands to label the process to which their coffee beans subjected. In this way, the consumer could choose the decaffeination method that he considers less harmful to his health.
Soluble decaffeinated coffee
After any of the above treatments, coffee is taken to another process to obtain soluble coffee. Two different methods used for this: spray drying and lyophilization. At another time, we can detail more these processes.
Controversies in the preparation of a decaffeinated coffee of envelope
Waiter – Good morning, what do you want to drink?
Customer – a decaffeinated envelope only.
The waiter takes a teapot with hot water and the decaffeinated envelope to the client. This is the right thing because decaf goes with water and only if you ask for a decaf with milk does it carry milk. The client often confuses this because when he asks for a decaffeinated envelope, he thinks he always goes with milk. The correct service of this coffee would be a small cup, decaffeinated container, boiling water and sugar or saccharin. This situation has happened to me on many occasions, and I still do not know which is the origin of such controversy.
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