Organic Chemistry Isolation of Caffeine from a Tea Bag

Athletes have used it as an ergogenic aid to decrease fatigue and improve performance (Rafaela, 163). However, it is suspected of being associated with low birth weight, abortion, intrauterine growth retardation and an increased risk of premature membrane rupture. The physiological characteristics of xanthines make them compounds of interest (Branislava et al., 144).
Caffeine is a component in tea and coffee that makes them valuable commodities. Caffeine (1, 3, 7-trimethyl xanthine) is an alkaloid nitrogen-containing compound with an organic base (Fang et al., 2278). Caffeine is a central nervous system, cardiac and respiratory stimulant that can also induce diuresis. Caffeine is suggested to be an environmental chemical indicator. Tea polyphenols are always contaminated with caffeine. Green tea has been found to have higher concentrations of caffeine compared to tea bags. However, teabags are more suitable for consumption due to their higher catechin content (Rafaela, 163).
The first isolation of caffeine was in 1820’s. Caffeine is isolated from coffee beans using organic solvents. The solvents are then drained off, and beans steamed to remove residual solvent. Drying and roasting increases the flavor of the final coffee beverage. The removal of caffeine is called decaffeination and its intention in beverages are to reduce their caffeine content to between 0.03 to 1.2%. Conventional breeding, physicochemical methods, microbial degradation and genetic engineering are some of the methods employed in decaffeination (Fan et al., 2279). Three methods of extraction of caffeine are frequently used. The first is the direct contact decaffeination that uses organic solvent methylene chloride. The process removes the required caffeine and retains compounds necessary for the flavor. However, methylene chloride is toxic, and this is a major drawback. The second method is the water process where hot water and