About a year and half ago, in a post entitled “One donut, black“, I noted the claim of a food company that it would soon be able to sell donuts spiked with caffeine. I wasn’t sure I would ever see such a thing, but I was too skeptical. Not only is that company still on track with its product, but another company has now announced its intention to put caffeine into bakery goods. All for our benefit, of course:
After announcing the development of a proprietary way to encapsulate caffeine for foods using vegetable-derived lipids last year, the company has worked in collaboration with bakery experts on prototypes to show its potential in bakery products.
It showcased a range of brownies, donuts and a cinnamon raison bread in New Orleans last month, where the annual IFT trade show was taking place.
Small amounts of caffeine have been researched for its potential in making people feel more alert, which makes it an appealing ingredient for the energy products sector. However traditionally the main delivery format has been in beverages such as coffee, which have a strong bitter taste that some consumers find objectionable. (FoodNavigator-USA)
At stake is a piece of the multibillion dollar US “energy food” market, most conspicuously in the form of high carb high-caffeine beverages like Jolt Cola (its original slogan of “All the sugar and twice the caffeine” has been dropped because there is no more cane sugar in Jolt, just high fructose corn syrup). While a typical cup of coffee has about 50 mg of caffeine, the company’s capsules have 100 mg of caffeine. The FDA doesn’t have any regulations requiring labeling of caffeine. Not yet, anyway. If we are going to see any action in that area, my guess is that it won’t be in the next 185 days (I’ll let you figure out where that number comes from).
I can drink a double espresso at dinner and go to sleep as usual later in the evening, so this development doesn’t scare me at all. But already it’s giving quite a few others the jitters.