Journal Article

Caffeine Content of Decaffeinated Coffee

Rachel R. McCusker, Brian Fuehrlein, Bruce A. Goldberger, Mark S. Gold and Edward J. Cone

in Journal of Analytical Toxicology

Volume 30, issue 8, pages 611-613
Published in print October 2006 | ISSN: 0146-4760
Published online October 2006 | e-ISSN: 1945-2403 | DOI: https://dx.doi.org/10.1093/jat/30.8.611
Caffeine Content of Decaffeinated Coffee

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Caffeine is the most widely consumed drug in the world with coffee representing a major source of intake. Despite widespread availability, various medical conditions necessitate caffeine-restricted diets. Patients on certain prescription medications are advised to discontinue caffeine intake. Such admonition has implications for certain psychiatric patients because of pharmacokinetic interactions between caffeine and certain anti-anxiety drugs. In an effort to abstain from caffeine, patients may substitute decaffeinated for caffeinated coffee. However, decaffeinated beverages are known to contain caffeine in varying amounts. The present study determined the caffeine content in a variety of decaffeinated coffee drinks. In phase 1 of the study, 10 decaffeinated samples were collected from different coffee establishments. In phase 2 of the study, Starbucks® espresso decaffeinated (N = 6) and Starbucks brewed decaffeinated coffee (N = 6) samples were collected from the same outlet to evaluate variability of caffeine content of the same drink. The 10 decaffeinated coffee samples from different outlets contained caffeine in the range of 0–13.9 mg/16-oz serving. The caffeine content for the Starbucks espresso and the Starbucks brewed samples collected from the same outlet were 3.0–15.8 mg/shot and 12.0–13.4 mg/16-oz serving, respectively. Patients vulnerable to caffeine effects should be advised that caffeine may be present in coffees purported to be decaffeinated. Further research is warranted on the potential deleterious effects of consumption of “decaffeinated” coffee that contains caffeine on caffeine-restricted patients. Additionally, further exploration is merited for the possible physical dependence potential of low doses of caffeine such as those concentrations found in decaffeinated coffee.

Journal Article.  0 words. 

Subjects: Medical Toxicology ; Toxicology (Non-medical)

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