Decaf coffee is made from beans that have had 97% of their caffeine removed, through a process called decaffeination. The most traditional way to achieve this is with the Methylene Chloride solvent method – it’s still used for most instant and regular coffees globally. This type of decaffeination preserves flavor better than other approaches, so if you’re looking for smooth-tasting brew without any buzz, then you know what to go for!
It’s worth noting that there are other ways to rid our much-loved beverage of its energizing effects; Swiss Water Decaf Process has revolutionized the industry by removing caffeine using only water and time – no chemicals involved. So regardless of your preference in terms of taste notes or sustainability factors, there’s something out there perfect just for you! But the question remains, does decaf coffee have dye in it?
What Does Methylene Chloride decaffeination Process Entail?
To help you understand whether there is some traces of dye in decaf, we will discuss the chemical solvent method used. Methylene Chloride (MC) is a clear, liquid chemical solvent with a sweet smell that boils at 104°F.
With multiple uses such as paint remover and hair spray, it’s no surprise that this powerful stuff has been tapped for use in decaffeinating coffee – up to 10 parts per million (ppm) of the compound are allowed by FDA regulations. But don’t worry: the FDA says it’s safe to consume!
The process of decaffeinating coffee beans using Methylene Chloride is quite simple. First, the beans are steamed to draw out the caffeine from inside to their outer surface area. Then, MC is applied directly on them; this chemical solvent removes all traces of caffeine. Following that, steam needs to be administered again. Doing so expels any residual solvent from the beans before they are dried and roasted so as no further residues remain. The amount of methylene chloride left in brewed coffee is minuscule – less than a part per million!
Does Decaf Coffee Have Dye in It?
Decaf doesn’t contain any dye. It only contains traces of a paint remover if the decaffeination method used was MC. Methylene chloride is a powerful chemical compound that has been used in paint stripper for years – but it’s not without its risks. The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) warns of the dangers, which can include eye, skin and liver damage; drowsiness, dizziness and nausea; even cancer. Severe exposure could lead to loss of consciousness or death! It’s so bad that California put it on their Proposition 65 List – meaning businesses must warn people about potential exposure.
This dangerous substance belongs to the halogenated hydrocarbon family: a type of chemical made by chlorinating methane —the major component in natural gas—and replacing some or all hydrogens with chlorine atoms. When you replace four hydrogens with chlorine, you get methylene chloride; three equates to chloroform; two equals methyl chloride (used as local anesthetics); one results in dichloromethane (a solvent).
Should you be wary of decaf made using the chemical solvent process?
Despite their claims of non-toxicity, affordability and great taste – many are still hesitant to take the plunge with MC decaffeination. This is largely due to reports that exaggerate its connection to cancer. But UK and American roasters have vouched for its safety, so why all the fuss?
It’s understandable if you feel like you’re in a pickle when it comes to weighing up your options; one minute experts say go ahead, while others suggest not taking any chances. It can be a minefield making an informed decision without being sure of what’s right or wrong – but ultimately we can’t let media hype dictate our choices!
At the end of the day, it comes down to personal preference: if you’re an ultra-health conscious type who won’t even take aspirin, then maybe its best avoiding anything with a one in several million chance risk attached. However, if you enjoy having a delicious caffeine free brew now and again, then go ahead! After all, life’s too short not indulge every once in a while.