You may have read a lot of information about decaf coffee, coffee in which it has almost no caffeine, which is claimed to be safer for health. Decaf coffee is an alternative for coffee enthusiasts who want to enjoy the coffee with a low level of caffeine consumption. But, is decaf coffee good for health?
Decaf coffee is coffee produced from the decaffeination process. It’s a method to eliminate the caffeine that content in coffee beans. The process can involve the water, organic solvents, or carbon dioxide. Principally, raw coffee beans are washed with a solvent, until the pore is open, then the caffeine will be extracted into it.
Decaffeination process that is done on a coffee will certainly change the basic characteristics of coffee, especially in the taste and aroma of the coffee. Coffee color can also change, depending on the method of decaffeination used. However, regardless of the caffeine content, the nutrient content in decaf coffee should be as close as possible to the ordinary coffee.
Is Decaf Coffee Safe To Consume?
A coffee must meet the requirements to the coffee decaf criteria. The US Food and Drug Administration (FDA) requires at least 97 percent of caffeine content to be removed. While the International Coffee Organization states that decaf coffee must contain less than 0.1 percent of caffeine. So, actually decaf coffee still contains a little caffeine, approximately 3-12 mg of caffeine in one cup.
The decaffeination process itself has been carried out since the early 1900s. At that time the process was still done by repeated rinsing with the help of benzene. Benzene itself is no longer used because it is considered a cancer-causing agent. Now, the two natural methods used in decaffeination are using a plant hormone called ethyl acetate or carbon dioxide or doing a water process that does not use chemicals at all, only using pure H2O.
But there are also those who use the decaffeination method using methyl chloride. By the National Cancer Institute, methyl chloride is listed as a possible carcinogen, but FDA regulations assume that levels of methyl chloride up to 10 ppm are still safe for consumption. But in fact, decaf coffee has a concentration below 1 ppm.
Generally, the decaffeination process is considered safe. Indeed, the issue arises that the decaffeination process with synthetically produced organic solvents has a negative risk to health. However, in 1999 the FDA stated that the number of organic solvents in coffee decaf was too little to have an impact on health. This institution has also made a strict limit that the maximum decaf coffee end products contain organic solvents as much as 10 ppm or only 0.001 percent.
Decaf Coffee vs Regular Coffee.
Actually, coffee is classified as a healthy drink. There have also been many studies that prove that coffee consumption within reasonable limits – 2 cups per day – can reduce the risk of various serious diseases. Coffee is rich in antioxidants. Antioxidants are the most effective in fighting free radicals, which can prevent cell damage which is the root cause of the emergence of heart disease, cancer, and type 2 diabetes. According to Diabetes Care in 2014, found that the risk of type 2 diabetes was found to be 33 percent lower in those who consumed 6 cups of coffee per day, than those who did not drink coffee at all. And this applies to regular coffee and decaf coffee.
Decaf coffee and regular coffee contain hydrocinnamic acid and polyphenols. But the decaffeination process makes these antioxidant levels 15 percent lower than regular coffee. In addition, decaf coffee also contains few vitamins and minerals, such as magnesium, potassium, and niacin (vitamin B3).
Coffee decaf is a good choice for those who often experience sleep disturbances (insomnia), anxiety, headaches, nausea, anxiety, nervousness, and increased blood pressure after consuming caffeine. Likewise with pregnant and lactating women, who do have to limit the consumption of caffeine.
In conclusion, decaf coffee is safe and has health benefits like regular coffee. Although the benefits are not as big as regular coffee, it can be an option for those of you who are sensitive to caffeine.