Food Analytical Methods

, Volume 11, Issue 10, pp 2637–2644 | Cite as

Use of an Online Extraction Technique Coupled to Liquid Chromatography for Determination of Caffeine in Coffee, Tea, and Cocoa

  • Marina Russo
  • Paola Dugo
  • Chiara Fanali
  • Laura Dugo
  • Mariosimone Zoccali
  • Luigi Mondello
  • Laura De Gara


Caffeine is the most widely studied psychoactive molecule in history due to its many pharmacological activities and a high number of biological and physiological effects. In literature, there is a great number of applications that describe extraction, identification, and quantification of caffeine in foods and beverages. For this purpose, an extraction step is followed by an analytical technique for the identification and quantification of caffeine. This work proposes an innovative method in which sample preparation, separation, and detection steps are unified in a single step. To the best of our knowledge, this is the first report on the determination of caffeine in coffee, tea, and cocoa by means of an online extraction coupled to a liquid chromatographic system equipped with a photodiode array detector. The developed methodology was validated in terms of sensitivity, detection limits, accuracy, and precision. The advantages of this technique are (i) a significant reduction of analysis time (more than 70%) and of solvents used (the extraction step is integrated in the chromatographic analysis), (ii) the whole procedure is thus completely automated drastically reducing possible operator errors to occur, and (iii) easily realized by using a conventional monodimensional liquid chromatography system.


Caffeine Online extraction HPLC Coffee 



Authors wish to thank Shimadzu Corporation for constantly supporting their research work.

Compliance of Ethical Standards

Conflict of Interest

Marina Russo declares that she has no conflict of interest. Paola Dugo declares that she has no conflict of interest. Chiara Fanali declares that she has no conflict of interest. Laura Dugo declares that she has no conflict of interest. Mariosimone Zoccali declares that he has no conflict of interest. Luigi Mondello declares that he has no conflict of interest. Laura De Gara declares that she has no conflict of interest.

Ethical Approval

This article does not contain any studies with human or animal subjects.

Informed Consent

Not applicable.


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© Springer Science+Business Media, LLC, part of Springer Nature 2018

Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.Department of MedicineUniversity Campus Bio-Medico of RomeRomeItaly
  2. 2.Dipartimento di “Scienze Chimiche, Biologiche, Farmaceutiche ed Ambientali”University of Messina-Polo AnnunziataMessinaItaly
  3. 3.Chromaleont S.r.L.MessinaItaly

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