Friday, January 26, 2007

Scientist develops caffeinated doughnuts

DURHAM. N.C. - That cup of coffee just not getting it done anymore? How about a Buzz Donut or a Buzzed Bagel? That's what Doctor Robert Bohannon, a Durham, North Carolina, molecular scientist, has come up with. Bohannon says he's developed a way to add caffeine to baked goods, without the bitter taste of caffeine. Each piece of pastry is the equivalent of about two cups of coffee.

While the products is no on the market yet, Bohannon has approached some heavyweight companies, including Krispy Creme, Dunkin' Donuts and Starbucks about carrying it.

Friday, January 19, 2007

Illegal plantations linked to major coffee firms

By Chris Mercer

1/19/2007- Some of the world’s largest coffee firms have been unwittingly sourcing beans from illegal plantations inside one of the world’s most important wildlife sanctuaries, a new report says.

Coffee industry giants Nestle and Kraft Foods were both implicated in the report, published by the World Wildlife Fund, which says growers in Indonesia had illegally used 45,000 hectares of the country’s Bukit Barisan Selatan (BBS) National Park.

The news threatens to be another public relations nightmare for top coffee firms amid ongoing criticism of their supply chain practices. The BBS park is an important refuge for endangered tigers, rhinos and elephants.

WWF said most of the coffee firms involved were unaware of the problem due to a lack of planting regulations in the region.

But it criticised both importers and exporters for not having mechanisms in place to prevent the trade of illegal beans. The group estimated from satellite images, interviews and tracking that 19,600 tonnes of beans were produced illegally every year.

“If this trend of illegally clearing park land for coffee isn’t halted, the rhinos and tigers will be locally extinct in less than a decade,” said Heather Sohl, of WWF UK.

Colleague Nazir Foead, of WWF Indonesia, said: “WWF doesn’t want to shut down the coffee industry in Lampung Province.

“But we're asking multinational coffee companies to implement rigorous chain-of-custody controls to ensure that they are no longer buying illegally grown coffee, and we're asking the Indonesian Government to better protect the park."

Nestle sought to distance itself from the illegal beans on Friday. “We share the concerns of the WWF and we are in talks with them. It is an industry-wide issue,” a spokesperson told

“It’s true that sometimes determining its source can be problematic, but we would never [knowingly] buy illegally grown coffee.” The group sources less than five per cent of its coffee from Indonesia and 60 per cent of that comes direct from farmers.

Kraft Foods was unavailable for comment.

Indonesia is the world’s second largest exporter of Robusta coffee beans, many of which are grown next door to the BBS park, in Sumatra.

Thursday, January 11, 2007

Two cups of coffee may ward of post-workout soreness

Originally Posted on : 2007-01-11 | Author : Paula Cussons

The downside of exercising is often sore muscles, which discourages people from having a really good workout. But now researchers from the University of Georgia may have found a way to bypass this as a new study suggests that drinking moderate amounts of coffee after exercising could help overcome this soreness.

These findings hold relevance to people who are new to workouts as they are the ones who experience the most soreness. “If you can use caffeine to reduce the pain, it may make it easier to transition from that first week into a much longer exercise program,” said lead researcher Victor Maridakis.

The study involved nine female college students who were not regular coffee drinkers. These students were not regular to exercise either. The researchers allowed them to have moderate workouts for the first two days before beginning the experiment.

The students were randomly given either caffeine or a placebo after a regular workout session. Thereafter they were asked to do a couple of thigh muscle exercises, which required a maximum stretching effect on the thigh.

Those who drank caffeine one hour before the second exercise had a 48 percent reduction in soreness as compared to those who took a placebo, the researchers reported. Co-author Patrick O'Connor said that it was likely that caffeine blocked the adenosine receptor, which is a byproduct of inflammation.

However the study is very small and since it involved only young females, the results are not deemed conclusive. "It can reduce pain," Maridakis agreed, "but you have to apply some common sense and not go overboard."

The details of the study will appear in the February issue of The Journal of Pain.

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