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Pistachio nuts caffeine alternative to coffee

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UK: Pistachio nuts could provide caffeine free alternative to coffee

Pistachio caffeine alternative to coffee

It has caused coffee manufacturers sleepless nights: could there be a caffeine-free coffee which actually tastes like the real thing? The search for a stimulant-free alternative has often proven less than fruitful, with versions of the drink which lack not just caffeine’s kick, but flavour. Now scientists claim to have found a possible solution in a type of pistachio nut. They claim that carefully roasted, the fruit of the Pistacia terebinthus tree, which is much smaller than normal pistachios, could offer all the flavour of coffee, with none of the kick – as well as being significantly cheaper. It might seem an unlikely boast, as the special type of pistachio nut is from a tree better known as having sap which is a source of turpentine. But chemists at the University of York say that pistacia has the same chemical “signature” as real, caffinated, coffee – meaning it can be made to have the same taste and aroma. The researchers found that when they roasted the P. terebinthus nuts for 20 minutes at 200 degrees they started to show a volatile chemical profile similar to roasted coffee beans. The roasting produced high amounts of chemicals that give the nuts a caramel and burnt sugar smell along with a slight citrus and pine flavour. Green coffee beans need to be for around 10-15 minutes and the roasting process changes the flavour of the final coffee.

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