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Caffeine Detector For Beverages Could Help Prevent Dangerous Overdoses

July 30, 2014: 12:00 AM EST
With the introduction of new caffeine-rich beverages and foods reaching flood stage, the risk of caffeine overdosing has increased as well. Caffeine is normally well tolerated, but in excessive doses it can lead to insomnia, hallucinations, vitamin deficiency, several types of cancer, and even death. Now U.S. scientists report progress in developing a rapid, in-home test to detect even low levels in beverages. An enzyme called caffeine dehydrogenase can detect caffeine in a variety of drinks – with the exception of teas – in one minute, in concentrations as low as 1 to 5 parts per million.
Sujit K. Mohanty et al., "Validation of Caffeine Dehydrogenase from Pseudomonassp. Strain CBB1 as a Suitable Enzyme for a Rapid Caffeine Detection and Potential Diagnostic Test. ", Journal of Agricultural and Food Chemistry, July 30, 2014, © American Chemical Society
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