Too much caffeine in your coffee?
01 December 2011
UK scientists have found that caffeine levels in espresso coffees purchased from coffee shops are well above the recommended daily allowance set by the Food Standards Agency. This could have implications for public health as consumers are unaware of the caffeine content of their daily fix.
The levels of caffeine per serving varied by more than six-fold
Alan Crozier and colleagues at the University of Glasgow, UK, analysed espressos (cup size 23-70ml) purchased 'to go' from local coffee shops using high performance liquid chromatography and found large variations in the caffeine (51-322mg) levels. The findings indicated that with one or two espressos per day, people at risk from a high caffeine intake could consume more caffeine than the Food Standards Agency guidelines recommend.
However, 'it is not simply a matter of reducing the levels in coffees as many consumers do not have adverse side effects and like the "kick" of a high caffeine coffee,' says Crozier. 'As long as you can tolerate caffeine and do not suffer adverse side effects, and are neither pregnant, young, or have liver disease, enjoy drinking your full-bodied coffee.'
Commenting on these results, Nikolai Kuhnert, an expert on polyphenol analysis in food and drink at Jacobs University, Germany, notes that the reality of caffeine intake through coffee is very different compared to previous assumptions. 'The authorities that issue safety guidelines and recommendations base their opinion on data that are not necessarily compatible with the real world and it is always worth checking what reality really looks like,' he concludes.
Interesting? Spread the word using the 'tools' menu on the left.
T W M Crozier et al, Food Funct., 2012, DOI: 10.1039/c1fo10240k
Also of interest
Coffee has a conflicting reputation - is it a guilty pleasure or a life saving elixir? Emma Davies gulps down an espresso and investigates
01 April 2011
Researchers aim to put 20 million tons of spent coffee grounds in Portugal to good use
25 May 2011
Caffeine-munching bacteria could turn coffee waste into drugs or a feedstock for biofuels
Comment on this story at the Chemistry World blog
Read other posts and join in the discussion
External links will open in a new browser window