Caffeine and theobromine levels in chocolate couverture and coating products

Malays J Nutr. 2000 Mar;6(1):55-63. Epub 2000 Mar 15.


Thirty-two samples of chocolate products were analysed by HPLC for caffeine and theobromine contents. Defatted residues of samples were extracted with 80% aqueous acetone. After extraction into boiling water, the methylxanthines were identified and quantified with the use of μ-Bondapak column and mobile phase of methanol:water:acetic acid (20:79:1). Levels of caffein and theobromine in 32 samples of chocolate products averaged 0.62-1.14 mg/g and 0.026-0.153 mg/g respectively. Mean values for theobromine and caffeine content for chocolate coating were 0.82 and 0.07 mg/g respectively. The chocolate coating made from fat substitute had theobromine and caffeine levels ranging from 0.36-0.70 mg/g and 0.027-0.061 mg/g respectively, with mean values of 0.49 mg theobromine/g and 0.039 mg caffeine/g. In local chocolate, the mean theobromine and caffeine levels respectively were 0.72 mg/g and 0.04 mg/g in milk chocolate, and 0.85 mg/g and 0.06 mg/g in dark chocolate. Meanwhile, for imported chocolate, the mean theobromine and caffeine levels respectively were 1.05 mg/g and 0.12 mg/g in dark chocolate; 0.76 mg/g and 0.04 mg/g in milk chocolate; and 0.74 mg/g and 0.03 mg/g in white chocolate. Compared with the local chocolates, imported chocolates had higher levels of theobromine and caffeine at 1.141 mg/g and 0.1533mg/g. The average theobromine and caffeine concentrations in local chocolate were 0.082mg/g and 0.066mg/g. Theobromine concentration in chocolate samples is within the range of 0.62mg/g-1.141mg/g and the range of caffeine concentration is 0.026mg/g-0.153mg/g respectively. Bittersweet chocolates were found to have higher theobromine and caffeine concentrations than normal sweet chocolates and milk chocolates.