Decaf coffee is typically considered as a better option that the regular one. But, this is a totally wrong. The process of extracting the caffeine involves toxic chemicals that can cause certain dangers to our health.
Direct extraction is the most popular chemical process when it comes to decaffeinating coffee. Green coffee beans are directly soaked in a solution of the chemical solvent ethyl acetate or methylene chloride, and water. Once the chemical does its work, the coffee beans are washed with water.
Dichloromethane, or methylene chloride, is described as a colorless, volatile liquid with odor similar to that of chloroform. It is a chemical that’s included in wide range of industries like pharmaceutical manufacturing, paint stripping, metal cleaning and degreasing, paint remover manufacturing, polyurethane foam production, adhesives manufacturing and use, solvent distribution and formulation, polycarbonate resin production, and film base manufacturing.
The process needs to be repeated couple of times until enough caffeine is released from the beans. Methelyne chloride is converted into carbon monoxide once it enters our body. Carbon monoxide in turn disrupts the oxygen delivery in the body. This can cause serious health problems.
Research conducted on rats has shown that ethyl acetate used in the process of decaffeination is usually a synthetic version, and when in amounts of 5620 mg/kg it becomes toxic. When ingested, it can lead to gastrointestinal irritation which can aggravate existing kidney or liver disorders.