Factors influencing antioxidant phytochemical stability of teas
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Tea is second only to water as the most consumed beverage in the world due to its health-promoting benefits and characteristic flavor. Even though many botanical teas such as yaupon holly (Ilex vomitoria) and mamaki (Pipturus albidus) are currently available in the tea market, only limited information is available on their polyphenolic contents containing diverse biological activities. Identification of phenolic compounds was performed using advanced analytical technique of mass spectrometry to provide polyphenolic profile of teas. To present fundamental information of phytochemical stability during tea storage, studies to determine the impacts of tea processing, different packaging materials, and various storage conditions on the phytochemical stability were conducted. Ascorbic acid addition and lowering pH successfully decreased the reduction of phenolic compounds by reducing the rate of oxidative degradation while tea pasteurization accelerated oxidative degradation. Glass bottles were most effective to retain higher concentration of polyphenolics. Tea polyphenolics at lower temperature (3 °C) without light exposure were higher retained in each tea. Tea cream, the complex formed by interaction between polyphenolics, caffeine, protein, and metal ions, is highly undesirable in tea industry since it causes haziness and cloudiness in tea infusion as well as deteriorates sensorial properties. Only limited information is available on tea creaming in non-fermented type teas such as green tea, yaupon holly, and mamaki even though many tea creaming compounds are present in these teas. Therefore, studies were conducted to determine the degree of contribution of the tea creaming compounds to tea creaming and to develop novel chemical methods to minimize tea creaming without detrimental effects. Methods applied in the present study defined that hydrophobic interaction was the driving force make tea cream insoluble in the solution. Results obtained by present studies provided fundamental and practical information to the tea industry in terms of phytochemical stability and suggested storage stability of phytochemicals should be considered during processing and storage, since it could be better retained or improved by applying appropriate methods.
Kim, Youngmok (2008). Factors influencing antioxidant phytochemical stability of teas. Doctoral dissertation, Texas A&M University. Available electronically from