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Breeding caffeine-free coffee beans

Code: 9781838793791
Chifumi Nagai, Hawaii Agriculture Research Center, USA; and Jean-Jacques Rakotomalala, Centre National de la Recherche Appliquée au Développement Rural, Madagascar

Chapter synopsis: Regular Arabica coffee contains about 1.2% caffeine. ‘Decaffeinated’ (less than 0.1%) and ‘low caffeine’ (0.2–0.8%) coffee can be obtained by removing the caffeine. However, this can compromise the flavour, and may lead to consumers viewing the product as less ‘natural’. Over the past 25 yrs, efforts have been made to develop naturally non- or low-caffeinated varieties, and some coffee beans with reduced caffeine content are now commercially available. In this chapter, we first review the process of caffeine biosynthesis and the economic significance of naturally decaffeinated and low-caffeine coffee. We consider the varying levels of caffeine in different coffee species, the production and characteristics of non- and low-caffeine coffee and the challenges of moving to large-scale cultivation for new varieties.

DOI: 10.19103/AS.2017.0022.09
Table of contents 1 Introduction 2 Caffeine levels among coffee species 3 Low- and non-caffeine coffee varieties: production and characteristics 4 Challenges of large-scale cultivation 5 Summary and future trends 6 Where to look for further information 7 Acknowledgements 8 References

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