Sunday, February 24, 2019

Decaffeination of tea by ethyl acetate processing

To be considered truly decaffeinated for labeling purpose, tea must contain no more than 0.4 percent of caffeine by dry weight.

The most common decaffeinating solvent is ethyl acetate, a substance that occurs naturally in some fruits and non-toxic component of tea. The ethyl acetate decaffeination process uses the Haco Method, which is similar to the one used for coffee. Chemically, ethyl acetate breaks down into ethanol and acetic acid.

In this process, tea leaves are bathed in water washed with ethyl acetate to remove the caffeine and then dried.

This process leaves a maximum carrier residue of 1 ppm or less, and a maximum caffeine residue of 0.08 percent, dry weight. The tea is 99.9 percent decaffeinated at the end of the process, and has an 8 percent maximum water content when leaving the factory. Decaffeinated Ceylon Black is processed in this manner.

However, ethyl acetate is very difficult to remove after the decaffeination process and can leave a chemical taste.
Decaffeination of tea by ethyl acetate processing

Most Popular Articles