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Getting closer to coffee without the crash

Getting closer to coffee without the crash
Researchers have learned more about cubosomes, which may provide a way to release caffeine—and other helpful ingredients—over time.

Scientists have gotten a step closer to coffee that keeps kicking and kicking—and kicking. Researchers at the Nestle Research Centre in Lausanne, Switzerland, together with Ecole Polytechnique Federale de Lausanne and university ETH Zurich, say they have developed a technique that makes it possible to release caffeine in a slow and sustained way. That’s right, just one cup of coffee could keep you going through the entire day.

The technique, published in the journal Nature Communications, focuses on cubosomes, which are basically microscopic capsules made of lipid molecules and water that contain a key ingredient, like caffeine, or another nutrient. The cubosomes break down over time, releasing their contents, according to a story about the research in the Daily Mail.

The scientists used 3D microscopy to accurately map the inside of cubosomes for the first time. The aim is to adapt cubosomes by placing active ingredients in different parts of their structure and changing their structures to tune the release.

Cubosomes could be used as delivery mechanisms for medicines, as well as nutrients. And just think of how much cubosomes could cut down on your Starbucks tab.

“What if you could drink one beverage and enjoy the boost effect caffeine provides in a slow, sustained way throughout the day?” asked a Nestle spokesperson in a company release. “We are considering what the next steps are now in terms of further research and future product potential.”

Top minds at Nestles’ Swiss HQ are also developing a kitchen appliance that can read your daily supplement deficiencies and spit out a personalized capsule (or food!) to fix them, like a Nespresso for nutrients.

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