Thursday, June 13, 2013


Coffee, Tea and Cocoa have been the villains during early days of development of food industry as these beverage crops contain the unique ingredient Caffeine, considered a stimulant and addictive. Though these were being consumed for decades, no harmful effect was reported till recently. However during the last few years Caffeine has found its way into many other beverages and foods which trend seems to be growing day by day. Safety of chemically pure Caffeine is mired in controversy and no one is absolutely certain regarding the upper limit of Caffeine that can be tolerated by humans. That it is not a harmless chemical is reflected by the world wide consensus that Caffeine is not advisable for consumption by Pregnant women and children. If recent reports are to be believed Americans are seized with an obsession to consume more and caffeine in any form or through any medium and this trend is being exploited by even big industry giants by launching different types of products containing more and more Caffeine! Here is a critique on this latest development.    

"The Wall Street Journal reports companies are taking the obsession with caffeine to a new, more chewable form. From jerky to candy and even condiments, companies are cashing in on a caffeine-crazed nation. Frito-Lay, for example, now offers Cracked Jack'D Power Bites in Cocoa Java and Vanilla Mocha flavors. In 2007, Jelly Belly came out with caffeinated Extreme Sport Beans. There's even Perky Jerky, Wired caffeinated waffles and DoubleKick brand hot sauce. While the industry of caffeinated food products is still small compared with energy drinks, The Wall Street Journal reports sales in the U.S. have increased nearly 50 percent to $1.6 billion since 2008. Amped-up food is a unique challenge because of caffeine's bitter taste, but the real challenge for companies' may be bigger in that health regulators will look at the industry in a new way, according to The Wall Street Journal. There's also concern caffeinated snacks will be more desirable to children".

What is surprising is the utter insensitivity on the part of the health authorities in that country who is doing precious little to arrest this disturbing trend. The industry is not being asked to prove the safety of such high Caffeine containing products and in the absence of evidence to the contrary these products are "making merry while he sun shines"! what is forgotten in this charade is that Caffeine in natural products may act in a different way compared to that of pure isolated Caffeine and unless conclusively proved through clinical trials regarding the safety of the existing products containing chemically pure Caffeine their manufacture and marketing must be stopped forthwith.


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