UK startup, Tropic Biosciences, is currently working on producing a naturally caffeine, or put another way, decaffeinated coffee variety.
In a scientific process called Gene Editing, the startup has successfully genetically edited a variety of bean that is naturally decaffeinated.
Indeed, Tropic Biosciences has just received a $10 million investment to continue its research into bananas and coffee.
With regards to bananas, “Because traditional breeding is not an option, gene editing makes a lot of sense, because the only way you can change the banana now is through genetics. If we don’t [take] this type of role and save the banana, I’m not sure there’s any other way to do it.” said a spokesman from Tropic Biosciences. Because the plants are cloned rather than bred, there’s no variation. “What you have is pretty much what you’re stuck with,” he says.
But back to coffee, “If you grow the beans without the caffeine or with a lower amount of caffeine to begin with, then you can achieve an end product that is a lot closer in taste to normal coffee, and you can maintain a larger content of the very healthy compounds that are naturally found in coffee.” according to Tropic Biosciences.
There are still hard questions to be asked about GMO and Gene Editing and this work is still in its research phase, but it looks like it naturally decaffeinated coffee is on its way.