Majikat- not all of them are decaffeinated that way. There's a healthier way some coffees are decaffeinated. But I don't know how you know which method they used, you know? I'm not a huge coffee person and just learned this from coffee-loving friends and family. Some of them refuse to drink decaf now.
Tryingforbaby2- Splenda is actually not supposed to market to small children because like with any artificial sweetener it can be very bad for your health. However Splenda has and does market to children (check out their commercials).
I looked it up (never heard of formeldehyde being used) and found this in several places. I copied from the site that was easiest to understand. I think decaf is fine and safe. But make your own judgement.
In one process, coffee beans are soaked in water to soften them and dissolve the caffeine. The water containing the caffeine (and the flavor from the beans) is treated with a solvent, heated to remove the solvent and caffeine, and then returned to the beans. The flavors in the water are reabsorbed by the beans, which are then dried. This process is referred to as "indirect decaffeination," because the beans never touch the solvent themselves. The most widely used solvent today is ethyl acetate, a substance found in many fruits. When your coffee label states that the beans are "naturally decaffeinated," it is referring to this process, specifically using ethyl acetate. Although it doesn't sound like a natural process, it can be labeled as such because the solvent occurs in nature. Other solvents have been used, some of which have been shown to be harmful. One, methylene chloride, has been alleged to cause cancer in humans and therefore is not often used. Back in the 1970s, another solvent, trichloroethylene, was found to be carcinogenic and is no longer used.
Another indirect method soaks the beans in water to soften them and remove the caffeine, and then runs the liquid through activated charcoal or carbon filters to decaffeinate it. The flavor containing fluid is then returned to the beans to be dried. This charcoal or carbon process is often called "Swiss water process" (developed by a Swiss company).
A direct decaffeination process involves the use of carbon dioxide as a solvent. The coffee beans are soaked in compressed CO2, which removes 97 percent of the caffeine. The solvent containing the extracted caffeine evaporates when the beans return to room temperature.
Your concern over the safety of decaffeinated coffee probably stems from solvents used in the past. If your coffee is labeled naturally decaffeinated or Swiss water processed, you can be assured that no harmful chemicals are used. If you are uncertain, you can ask or call your coffee processor to learn about the method used.
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