There are different reasons why people need to modify certain habits and change some of the products they ingest in their diet. In the case of coffee, some should reduce or eliminate its consumption because caffeine may be affecting their health, for which the infusion becomes a contraindication.
Some people prefer to quit coffee. Others prefer to resort to other alternatives so as not to eliminate this beverage from their lives. The latter are those who choose decaffeinated coffee.
But What Is Decaf Coffee?
Decaffeinated coffee is a type of coffee that is processed to reduce the amount of caffeine in its composition.
In this case, this substance is not – completely – eliminated, but rather it is reduced to a minimum percentage, no higher than 3%. So, it can be used by those who cannot opt for the conventional option.
The Process To Extract The Caffeine
When we talk about the decaffeinated coffee process, we refer to the different steps that must be taken to extract an enormous amount of caffeine from a coffee. This process is known as decaffeination. This procedure not only allows the elimination of caffeine from coffee, but also from other products such as cocoa or tea.
The process of decaffeination to successfully achieve that the decaffeinated coffee properties are so positive for health is carried out by means of three different methods.
Water: When using this method, what is done is to mix the coffee beans in natural water. Through osmosis, the caffeine is attracted from a high concentration of coffee beans to a low concentration of solvent. Then, the water in which the caffeine has been dissolved is pumped through a filter with activated carbon, which oversees allowing the complete absorption of the caffeine without affecting the rest of the components that give flavor to the infusion.
Carbon Dioxide: The coffee beans are placed inside drums that work at a pressure of approximately 300 atmospheres, in this way the carbon dioxide can circulate between them, acquiring a vicious form like a liquid that integrates with the beans and dissolves the caffeine present in them. Once the carbon dioxide is submerged in the caffeine, it is channeled and absorbed by a charcoal filter, thus obtaining a decaffeinated coffee.
Methylene Chloride: Probably the most popular of the three methods. Here what is used in the decaffeinated coffee process is methylene chloride as a chemical solvent. First, the green coffee beans are taken and soaked in water so that their cover begins to soften. Then, these beans are soaked in methylene chloride for a sufficient period until the caffeine in the coffee is dissolved to a great extent.