Caffeine and Theobromine

What is caffeine?
Caffeine is a naturally occurring substance found in various plants, coffee beans, tea leaves and – in small amounts – in cocoa beans. The amount of caffeine present in chocolate and cocoa-based products differs depending on the type and amount of cocoa ingredients used, including cocoa powder, cocoa butter, and chocolate liquor.

Is caffeine safe?
Most adults can consume moderate amounts of caffeine safely. Moderate consumption of caffeine can vary between people, but on average, FDA considers consumption up to 400 mg per day, which is equal to about four to five 8-ounce cups of coffee, as a safe amount for healthy adults1. Women who are pregnant and individuals with heart disease should check with their healthcare provider to see how much caffeine they can consume.

How do I know how much caffeine is in candy products?
The amount of caffeine in chocolate products will typically vary depending on the amount of cocoa solids in the product. Generally, a dark chocolate bar will contain more caffeine than a milk chocolate bar. White chocolate bars generally do not contain caffeine. Most people are surprised to find out that milk chocolate contains relatively low amounts of caffeine.

Typical caffeine ranges in chocolate and coffee
Milk Chocolate (1.4 oz.): 3 – 10mg
Dark Chocolate (1 oz.): 5 – 35mg
Unsweetened Baking Chocolate (1 oz.): 35mg
Coffee (8 oz.): 95-200 mg
Decaffeinated Coffee: 95-200 mg

What is theobromine?

Theobromine is a naturally occurring substance found in cocoa beans. Due to its natural occurrence in cocoa beans, theobromine is also a component of chocolate products, though the amount will vary depending on how much and which ingredients are used.

Is theobromine safe?

Foods containing theobromine have been part of the human diet for many years. Theobromine is safe for human consumption; however, it can be dangerous to animals, especially dogs. Dogs lack a specific enzyme and thus are unable to break down theobromine properly. If you suspect that your pet has eaten chocolate or chocolate products, immediately contact your veterinarian.

Is there a lot of theobromine in chocolate?

Dark chocolates, unsweetened baking chocolate and cocoa powder contain more theobromine than milk chocolate and chocolate syrups.

1Spilling the Beans: How Much Caffeine is Too Much? (2018, December 12). Found at Retrieved May 11, 2020.