Analysis of Caffeine in Coffee
Caffeine Sources Worldwide
Effects of Caffeine
Temperature Analysis
Extraction Method
Fragmentation Patterns
3-D Nature of GC/MS
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Analysis of Caffeine in Coffee

The Problem:   This case study is an introduction to the operation of the virtual mass spectrometer.  It will provide the user with an opportunity to modify a wide number of options on the GC-MS and to explore the optimization of the settings.

Brief Background: For this study, three samples will be examined.  A sample of pure methylene chloride (our solvent) will be examined to see what peaks the solvent may form.  A standard solution of caffeine and methylene chloride will allow the user to determine when caffeine elutes, and provide a clean spectrum of caffeine as well.  In the third sample, an extraction of coffee’s components (particularly caffeine) in methylene chloride is examined, with the previous two assays aiding in identification of the peaks.

The Experiment: In this case study, the goal will be to locate the caffeine peak in the total ion chromatograph.  It may also be helpful to consider the single ion chromatogram.  Determine the retention time of caffeine in the extract sample, and decide if there are components eluting at the same time.

Instructors: Send an email to to request the Teacher's Manual, the Pre-test, or the Post-test. Please be sure to identify the course you will use the material for, and a Departmental website where we can verify that you are an instructor.