Does Caffeine Contain Very Small Amounts Of Protein?

I notice that a 12-ounce can of Coke contains 0.3 grams of protein. What? Can that be from caffeine? The caramel coloring could also be the source. I checked other caffeinated beverages, and they too had very low amounts of protein. Doing a Google search for caffeine + protein doesn't reveal a definitive connection.


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    I can't say with certainty where the tiny amount of protein is coming from but I do know that minuscule amounts of protein are found in all foods, even those that appear calorie-free.

    Susan Macfarlane, MScA, RD
    Registered Dietitian Nutritionist
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    Thanks. But the Coca-Cola company also owns the soft drink called Fanta (orange soda), and it shows 0 grams (both in the NCCDB database), whereas Coke shows 0.3 grams. Fanta is caffeine-free.

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    Caffeine - no, caffeine is a substance - an alkaloid, its a single molecule, made out of carbon, hydrogen, nitrogen and oxygen atoms, its not a mixture, so can not contain any "protein" or anything like that. But coffee - certainly, protein accounts for about 12% of coffee beans dry matter. Some of it ends up in melanoidins when roasted and is extracted into the liquid coffee.

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    I understand a coffee bean (a legume?) contains protein. But how do you account for 0.2 grams of protein in a 12-ounce can of Coca-Cola. but 0 grams in cream soda, grape soda and other non-caffeinated soft drinks? Coke has caramel coloring. Would it be from that ingredient?

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    A coffee "bean" is actually a seed of the coffee cherry, its only called a "bean" because of the shape, it has nothing to do with legumes. Legumes, by definition, are from the Fabaceae family. Coffee is in the Rubiaceae family.

    Its impossible to know where protein in Coca-Cola comes from, as the formula of it flavoring is secret, known only by two Coca-Cola Company executives. In some old days it included the Coca leaf (the same one which cocaine is derived from). There was supposedly 9 mg of cocaine in a glass of Coca-Cola, so its seems plausible there is 200 mg of protein in it. Who knows what they are putting in it now, maybe its just as bad as cocaine. Actually some studies claim sugar (of which there is plenty in Coca-Cola) is eight times more addictive than cocaine.

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