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Food Science and Technology (Campinas)

Print version ISSN 0101-2061

Abstract

BALLUS, Cristiano Augusto et al. A fast and efficient method for the study of caffeine levels in energy drinks using micellar electrokinetic chromatography (MEKC). Ciênc. Tecnol. Aliment. [online]. 2012, vol.32, n.2, pp. 401-404.  Epub Apr 17, 2012. ISSN 0101-2061.  http://dx.doi.org/10.1590/S0101-20612012005000042.

Energy drinks are becoming popular in Brazil and in the world due to their stimulant properties. Caffeine is present in energy drinks with the aim of stimulating the central nervous system and intensifying brain activity. On the other hand, the ingestion of high doses of caffeine can cause undesirable symptoms such as anxiety and tachycardia. Therefore, it is necessary to monitor the caffeine content added to energy drinks to guarantee that the levels in the final product are in accordance with the labeling and within the legislation limits. The goal of this work was to validate a fast, efficient, and low-cost method for the determination of caffeine in energy drinks by micellar electrokinetic chromatography (MEKC). A total of seven brands were analyzed, each in three lots. The electrolyte was prepared with 50 mmol.L-1 of sodium dodecyl sulfate (SDS) and 10 mmol.L-1 of sodium carbonate (pH 11.0). The mean concentration of caffeine ranged from 122.8 to 318.6 mg.L-1. None of the brands had caffeine levels above the maximum limit. Considering the interval of confidence (95%), 72% of the samples had less caffeine than the amount informed on the product label.

Keywords : caffeine; energy drinks; micellar electrokinetic chromatography.

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