People often deceive themselves, thinking that decaffeinated coffee is a healthier choice. But this is not true. But those who enjoy drinking decaf coffee are not aware of all the dangerous and toxic chemicals that are added in coffee in order to draw out the caffeine.
Direct extraction is the most frequently used chemical process to draw out the caffeine. During this process, they use chemical solvent – ethyl acetate or methylene chloride and they mix it with water; in which they put the green coffee beans. When the solvent does its job, they take out the beans and wash them with water.
Ethyl acetate or methylene chloride are used in order to perform the chemical process of extraction of caffeine to coffee beans.
The website www.osha.gov gives the following explanation of methylene chloride:
Dichloromethane, or commonly known as methylene chloride is liquid compound, and it has no color, with scent similar to chloroform and it is vaporous. This compound has many purposes and uses in various industries and numerous industrial processes such as solvent distribution and formulation, polycarbonate resin production, film base manufacturing, polyurethane foam production, adhesives manufacturing and use, metal cleaning and degreasing, paint remover manufacturing, pharmaceutical manufacturing and paint stripping.
In the manufacturing process they perform the process of extraction a few times until sufficient amount of caffeine is extracted from the coffee beans. The side-effect of consuming methylene chloride through decaf coffee is that it becomes transformed onto carbon monoxide inside the body which interrupts the transport of oxygen in the body. Due to this, we may suffer from serious lung problems and many other health conditions.
They use the synthetic version of ethyl acetate in the process of extracting caffeine from the coffee beans, and it proved to be very dangerous and toxic if taken in amounts of 5620mg/kg and also lead to gastrointestinal irritation and it can deteriorate kidney and liver disorders.
But if you really enjoy drinking decaf coffee, at least prepare an organic one. The Swiss Water Method is the best one for making an organic decaffeinated coffee.
This method does not use any chemicals and it is 100% safe. The Swiss Method uses very hot water instead of chemical to extract the flavor, the caffeine and other compound from the coffee beans. Then they separate the caffeine from the solution and leave the other constituents in the beans which are later dried.