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The truth about decaf coffee

Decaffeinated coffee is surrounded by several myths. Some of them question whether it is a drink with health benefits and really safe consumption due to the process in which caffeine is extracted from the grain. We answer some of the most common questions.

1. Are you completely caffeine free?

Don’t be fooled by brands that claim to have eliminated all the caffeine in a coffee. Decaffeinated coffee not 100% caffeine free. At least 97% of caffeine must be removed to carry the decaf label. The Food and Drug Administration (FDA) notes that decaffeinated coffee generally has 2 to 15 milligrams in an 8-ounce cup.

2. Do you lose the health benefits?

Coffee is a stimulating drink, loaded with antioxidants and with benefits for the heart health, of the brain and also for diabetics. The healthy effects are a combination of its components, among which caffeine and polyphenols stand out.

The polyphenols that are still in decaffeinated coffee they can act like antioxidants for reduce the oxidative damage and inflammation of cells. They also have neurological benefits in some people, notes the Harvard School of Public Health.

The polyphenols and minerals Like the magnesium in coffee they can improve the effectiveness of insulin and glucose metabolism in the body.

3. Does it come from a special plant?

All coffee comes from coffee beans that naturally contain caffeine. Decaffeination takes place after harvest.

4. Does it contain chemicals?

While there are decaffeination processes that are widely used with chemicals to extract the caffeine from the bean, they are not the only way.

The two most common methods are with solvents (methylene chloride or ethyl acetate) or carbon dioxide. Both are applied to steamed or soaked beans, which are then allowed to dry. Solvents bind to caffeine and both evaporate when the beans are rinsed and / or dried.

The FDA currently allows chemicals to be used in decaffeination processes, but brands are not required to disclose this on their label.

There is another decaffeination process that does not use chemicals, is called Swiss water. This method eliminates caffeine using water and a charcoal filter.

5. Does the taste change?

The flavor decaf depends largely on the grain quality and from toasted, no caffeine. Although the decaffeination process using chemicals can cause some loss of flavoras other natural chemicals in coffee beans that impart their unique flavor and aroma can be destroyed during processing.

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