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Researchers seek to insert caffeine into baked goods

Monday, January 29, 2007 by: M. T. Whitney
Tags: caffeine, pastries, junk food

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(NewsTarget) With a new technology involving caffeine being researched, bakeries might be adding more than just sugar and spice to pastries.

Leading the charge is Robert Bohannon, who invented a patent-pending method to encapsulate caffeine into baked goods. However, initial results ended up with food that tastes bad, he says. The product needs tweaking to get the right amount of caffeine so that it does not overpower the taste of the food.

Caffeine, which has addictive qualities and can require periods of withdrawal among heavy coffee drinkers, is already heavily used by many Americans through the consumption of soda, coffee and other drinks.

The target market for the baked goods is primarily college students and other members of Generation Y, says Bohannon, who are known to live on caffeine and taurine-based energy drinks. By combining sugar with caffeine, the marketing theory goes that it will allow them to hit new highs by going to the local bakery. Like sugar, caffeine causes its user to "crash" a few hours after ingesting it.

When one becomes dependent on caffeine, they may exhibit signs of "caffeinism," including including "nervousness, irritability, anxiety, tremulousness, muscle twitching (hyperreflexia), insomnia, headaches, and heart palpitations," says Wikipedia. Caffeine also affects the production of stomach acid; high usage can lead to ulcers.

Bohannon has trademarked the names Buzz Donuts and Buzzed Bagels, and says he has approached companies like Dunkin' Donuts and Starbucks to form a partnership to sell the caffeinated foodstuffs.

He also sees the encapsulation technology as a way to insert anything into pastries, including vitamins and minerals.

While Bohannon will not control how much caffeine finds its way into food, he expects the levels will top out between 50 and 100 milligrams.

By comparison, a 12-ounce glass of Coca-Cola contains 34 milligrams of caffeine. A cup of regular coffee, meanwhile, has 135 milligrams of caffeine.


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