The decaffeination process used for Great Value decaffeinated coffees uses both water and a naturally occurring compound, Ethyl Acetate. The decisive advantage of this process is that it is absolutely safe. Ethyl Acetate is a common component of both natural foods (apples, pears, peaches and different vegetables) and processed foods (wine and fruit liqueurs). In fact, it is generally referred to as the “natural process” when comparing decaffeination methods. This process does not contain any harmful chemical solvents. This method is specific in removing the majority of the caffeine and does not remove the flavor.
Decaffeination processes that uses water alone removes the caffeine, but will also remove many of the desirable flavor and aromatic compounds. This leaves a flat tasting product.
In the United States, a coffee must have at least 97% of its caffeine removed to qualify as decaffeinated. A five-ounce cup of brewed, decaffeinated coffee may contain two to five milligrams of caffeine, as compared to 60 to 180 milligrams for regular coffee.
The process begins when raw green coffee beans are soaked in pressurized, heated water causing the bean cell structure to expand so the caffeine can be more easily removed. The water containing coffee flavors, coffee oils, and the caffeine is then separated from the green beans. It is treated with the "natural" compound ethyl acetate. This absorbs the caffeine from the liquid. The remaining liquid, excluding the caffeine, is circulated back into the beans to add back the true coffee flavors removed during the decaffeination process. The beans are then dried to ready them for the roasting process.
This process produces a 100% chemical-free, 99.7% caffeine-free, great tasting cup of coffee that you can drink every day without any health concerns.