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3(1), April, 2012. ISSN: 2141- Printed in Nigeria. All rights reserved. Global Research Publishing, 2012. Caffeine Content of Cocoa and Coffee Beverages in Lagos, Nigeria
(pp. 404-411.) C. O. Ogah and O. T.obebe
Department of Pharmaceutical Chemistry, Faculty of Pharmacy, University of Lagos,
Correspondence Email
Abstract: This study determined the caffeine content of various brands of cocoa and coffee-based beverages in Lagos, Nigeria. Ten brands of these products were purchased from various shops in the Lagos metropolis. Caffeine was carefully extracted from each product and analyzed by ultraviolet/visible spectrophotometric methods. The results show that the caffeine content of the cocoa-based products ranged from 1.8 to 3.1 mg/g of product while classic and decaffeinated coffee contained 8.4 and 2.3 mg/g of product respectively. These amounts are considered low and safe for healthy adults when compared with established safety levels of the US Food and Drugs Administration. It was recommended that people who need caffeine restriction due to health conditions should choose products with lower caffeine contents. Also, since caffeine is an additive substance, manufacturers of caffeine-containing products should be required by regulation to indicate its presence and amounts on package labels for the information of the consuming public. Key Words: Caffeine; beverage; Lagos, cocoa, extraction.
served hot by addition of hot water or milk. This group consists of cocoa, tea and A beverage is a drink specially prepared for human consumption either at meal or commercially available in the Nigerian leisure times. There are a variety of beverages which can be broadly classified into alcoholic and non-alcoholic. Alcoholic Caffeine is a xanthine alkaloid found beverages contain alcohol in varying abundantly in natural sources such as the seeds of coffee tree (Coffee arabica), beverages comprise soft drinks, fruit juices leaves of tea bush (Thea sinensis), nuts of and hot beverages. Soft drinks and some kola tree (Cola acuminata) and seeds of fruit juices may contain caffeine arising cocoa tree (Theobroma cacao). Caffeine is from the raw materials used for its therefore present in beverages like coffee, preparation or from deliberate addition. tea, chocolate and soft drinks prepared Hot beverages often contain caffeine and using raw materials from these sources. are termed ‘hot' because they are usually Coffee has been found to be the biggest Caffeine Content of Cocoa and Coffee Beverages in Lagos, Nigeria C. O. Ogah and O. T.obebe: JOIRES 3(1), April, 2012: 405-411. source of caffeine in adults (Matissek, the gastro-intestinal tract and readily 1997). Even decaffeinated coffee is not crosses the blood-brain barrier and the placenta. It is known to act primarily by decaffeination is a process which is not blocking adenosine receptors in the brain. Caffeine-containing This action antagonizes the suppressive effect of adenosine on neural activity resulting in stimulation (Nehlig, Daval, and Debry, 1992; Fisone, Borgkvist, Caffeine is a psychoactive stimulant Usiello, 2004). The effect is however known to increase alertness, elevate mood temporary because it is by competitive and give temporary energy boost thereby inhibition which diminishes with decrease easing fatigue. It also increases the in caffeine concentration. effectiveness of certain drugs, hence its use in some over-the-counter drugs for the Caffeine also has other effects which may treatment of conditions such as migraine be unrelated to adenosine and some are and cluster headaches. In the form of coffee, it is said to have some cardio- metabolites: paraxanthine, theobromine protective effect in individuals who are not and theophylline. These effects include hypertensive. Caffeine is the most widely increase in blood pressure, diuresis, consumed psychoactive substance in the increase in blood sugar, increase in gastric world and is largely unregulated (Lovett, acid and pepsin secretion, increased plasma levels of fatty acids, cortisol and epinephrine, raised intraocular pressure While some people take hot beverages and loss of calcium leading to bone loss with milk, sugar and other additives for nutritional purposes, many others use Higginbotham et al., 1989). Some drugs caffeine-containing such as fluvoxamine, levofloxacin and oral contraceptives inhibit the liver enzyme, propensity of people to use stimulant drugs with the attendant addiction liability. metabolism of caffeine thereby raising its Coffee is consumed regularly by millions blood levels and potentiating its numerous of people in order to induce wakefulness when arising from sleep or to prevent falling asleep at specific times and to Use of caffeine may contribute to relieve the boredom of daily routines. development of certain diseases or aggravate existing conditions; therefore The chemical name of caffeine is 1, 3, 7- caffeine may not be for everyone. Due to trimethylxanthine. It is well absorbed from its numerous effects, certain categories of Caffeine Content of Cocoa and Coffee Beverages in Lagos, Nigeria C. O. Ogah and O. T.obebe: JOIRES 3(1), April, 2012: 405-411. may need to abstain from, or caffeine may not be worth the health risks. restrict their intake of, caffeine. These Manufacturers of most of the beverages in include pregnant women and people the market do not specify the quantity of suffering from hypertension or other caffeine on their product label. There is cardiovascular diseases, diabetes, open therefore a need for analysis of different angle glaucoma, insomnia, etc. For these products for caffeine content so that people people, the benefits derived from taking can make informed choices. theophylline (4%) theobromine (12%) paraxanthine (84%) Figure 1: Caffeine and its Main Metabolic Products
and Richoco. All were within their shelf life and bore NAFDAC numbers on their Collection of Samples
The following brands of beverages were Preparation of Standard Solutions
purchased from retail shops across the Standard caffeine powder (50mg) was Lagos metropolis and used in the study: weighed and dissolved in 20ml distilled Blue Boat Choco, Bournvita, Cowbell water. This was made up to 100ml with Chocolate, Jago Chocolate, Milo, Nescafe distilled water. 10ml of this solution was taken and made up to 100ml with distilled (Decaffeinated), Ovaltine, Peak Choco water to produce a 50µg/ml stock Caffeine Content of Cocoa and Coffee Beverages in Lagos, Nigeria C. O. Ogah and O. T.obebe: JOIRES 3(1), April, 2012: 405-411. solution. The stock solution was then each of 30ml of chloroform in a serially diluted to produce concentrations separating funnel. Each extract was of 2, 4, 8, 12 and 16 µg/ml. The washed with 10ml of water. The absorbance of each solution was measured chloroform extracts were combined and using a UV/Vis spectrophotometer at filtered through a plug of absorbent cotton absorption maximum of 272nm. The absorbance values were then plotted chloroform. The solution was then against concentrations to generate a evaporated to dryness and the residue was calibration curve. dissolved completely in 30ml of water, warming gently on a water bath. The Extraction of Caffeine from Beverages
solution was cooled, made up to 100ml Two grams of sample was weighed and and filtered. The absorbance of the powdered. 200ml of distilled water was resulting solution was then measured added to the sample and shaken for 15 using a UV/Vis spectrophotometer at 272 Sufficient water was added to produce 250ml and the solution was filtered. To 10ml of the filtrate, 10ml of 1N sodium The results obtained from the analysis of hydroxide (NaOH) was added and the samples are presented in Table 1 and extracted immediately with five quantities Figures 2 and 3 below. y = 0.0517x + 0.0989 Figure 2: Calibration Curve for Standard Caffeine
Caffeine Content of Cocoa and Coffee Beverages in Lagos, Nigeria C. O. Ogah and O. T.obebe: JOIRES 3(1), April, 2012: 405-411. Concentrations and Amounts of Caffeine in the Various Samples
Sample Name
Absorbance Concentration Amount
Caffeine (mg/per g
of Sample)
Blue Boat Choco
Cowbell Chocolate
Jago Chocolate
Nescafe Classic
Nescafe Gold Blend ND
Peak Choco
Sample Code
Figure 3: Chart Showing Amounts of Caffeine in the Various Samples
Caffeine Content of Cocoa and Coffee Beverages in Lagos, Nigeria C. O. Ogah and O. T.obebe: JOIRES 3(1), April, 2012: 405-411. DISCUSSION OF RESULTS
Low/moderate consumption is considered safe (U.S. Code of Federal Regulations, The results of this analysis show that the 2003). It will therefore take more than ten amount of caffeine per gramme of the cups of classic coffee per day to exceed cocoa-based beverages ranged from 1.8 to 3.1 mg. For the coffee-based products, classic and decaffeinated coffee contained Cocoa products are generally used in respectively, 8.4 mg and 2.3 mg caffeine higher amounts per cup of beverage than per gramme of product. The amount of coffee products. Using an average caffeine in food products varies according caffeine content of 2.5 mg/g (from results to the type of product and method of obtained) and 4 g of product per cup preparation. Generally, the coffee bean is (double the amount of coffee product), a higher in caffeine content than the cocoa cup of the cocoa products would contain bean; hence coffee products are expected 10 mg of caffeine. This also is low and to contain more caffeine than cocoa safe. However, safety levels are based on products. Also, dark-roast coffee may studies in healthy adults. contain less caffeine than the lighter It is difficult to calculate the exact amount product because roasting reduces the of caffeine consumed by individuals caffeine content of the coffee bean because the amount of product used per (Lovett, 2005). Coffee is known as the cup is usually not weighed/measured but topmost source of caffeine in adults. dispensed by means of teaspoons. Also, The recommendation on the label of there are a variety of cup sizes but use of a Nescafe Classic is that a 50 g pack should known amount of product would eliminate make 25 cups of coffee beverage (i.e. 2 g the importance of cup size. The amount of per cup). Based on this recommendation caffeine needed to produce effects varies and using the results of this study, a cup from person to person according to body weight and individual sensitivity. Children approximately 17 mg of caffeine while for instance, due to their smaller weight, that of decaffeinated coffee would contain may manifest hyperactivity and other side about 5 mg of caffeine. These values could be considered low and safe if we beverages with moderate caffeine content consider the US Food and Drugs which are considered safe for adults Administration classification of caffeine (Benjamin, Rogers and Rosenbaum, 1991; consumption. Under this classification, . Therefore, people caffeine intake of 130 - 300 mg/day is who need caffeine restriction (pregnant low/moderate, above 400 mg/day is high while above 6,000 mg/day is heavy. Caffeine Content of Cocoa and Coffee Beverages in Lagos, Nigeria C. O. Ogah and O. T.obebe: JOIRES 3(1), April, 2012: 405-411. glaucoma, insomnia, etc.) should choose product labels for information of the products with low caffeine content and avoid regular consumption. REFERENCES
Caffeine is an addictive substance, so Matissek, R (1997). Evaluation of regular consumption of products that Xanthine Derivatives in Chocolat: contain even moderate amounts of Nutritional and Chemical Aspects. caffeine may lead to addition to the European Food Research and products with withdrawal reactions like Technology 205 (3): 175–84.
mood changes and flu-like symptoms. These Lovett, R (2005). Coffee: The Demon irritability, difficulty in concentrating, Scientist. depression, nausea/vomiting and muscle ache or stiffness (Juliano and Griffiths, Accessed: August, 2009. 2004). These reactions may lead to increased intake of caffeine with increased Nehlig, A; Daval, JL and Debry, G adverse effects. Therefore, the use of (1992). Caffeine and the Central caffeine should be regulated with a Nervous System: Mechanisms of requirement for its presence in foods and Action, Biochemical, Metabolic drinks, along with amounts, to be clearly stated on the labels of such items. Brain Research Reviews 17 (2):
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Caffeine Content of Cocoa and Coffee Beverages in Lagos, Nigeria


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