Decaffeinated coffee is not a better option than the regular one. Namely, the process through which the caffeine is drawn out involves chemicals which are toxic and detrimental to our health.
This process, also known as direct extraction, is the most common chemical process when it comes to manufacturing decaffeinated coffee. During the process, the green coffee beans are soaked in a solution made of water and ethyl acetate or methylene chloride. When done, the coffee beans are thoroughly washed with pure water.
Methylene chloride is a colorless, volatile liquid whose odor resembles the tone of chloroform. It is used in many industries and for different purposes, such a paint stripping, metal cleaning and degreasing, paint remover manufacturing, adhesives manufacturing, solvent distribution and formulation, film base manufacturing, polycarbonate resin production, polyurethane foam production, and pharmaceutical manufacturing.
The process needs to be repeated a few times or until enough caffeine is extracted from the beans.
Once metabolized in the body, methylene chloride turns into carbon monoxide, a chemical which disrupts the delivery of oxygen in the body. This eventually leads to many problems, such as severe lung conditions.
According to a study done on rats, ethyl acetate used in the process is typically a synthetic version which becomes toxic in amounts of 5620 mg/kg. When ingested, this chemical leads to gastrointestinal irritation which worsens existing liver or kidney disorders.
- In case you find it hard to give up decaffeinated coffee for good, at least make sure you use organic one made with Swiss Water Method. This process is much safer as is chemical free and involves soaking of coffee beans in hot water. In this way, the caffeine and flavors are naturally extracted and the caffeine is then filtered out naturally while the leftover filtrate is dried into the beans.