Coffee cup confusion

The amount of caffeine in coffee varies depending on preparation conditions - research by Alan Crozier

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Health-related headlines often cite coffee as either a caffeinated curse or cure-all, with lines such as ‘x cups of coffee a day could lower or raise your risk of disease y’. But a new study into the caffeine and caffeoylquinic acid (CQA) content of various European coffees has again shown the huge variety in what ‘a cup of coffee’ means chemically, and how easy it can be for pregnant women to exceed the recommended 200mg of caffeine a day.

In a non-funded project – ‘curiosity driven research,’ is how group leader, Alan Crozier from the University of Glasgow, UK, describes it – the team measured the caffeine-to-CQA ratio in over 100 espressos. This expanded their previous study on coffees in Scotland. Crozier says a co-worker’s home town in Italy yielded the most consistent cups of coffee of the project. What with this, and research group member Iziar Ludwig’s trips back to Spain, there was no shortage of brews to analyse.

Read more about this work in the full Chemistry World story by Jenifer Mizen.

Read the original research, published in Food & Function, it’s free to access until the 1st September.

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