Greenteahaus:  The Green Tea Reference Library

Most green teas on the market are low in EGCG, about 2% and up to 4 % in dry weight as reported in the U.K. (3) and there is loss of EGCG when heated in the presence of oxygen (1)

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(1) Chen Z, Zhu QY, Tsang D, Huang Y. Degradation of green tea catechins in tea drinks. J Agric Food Chem. 2001 Jan;49(1):477-82.

Green tea cateachins (GTC). namely (-) epicatechin (EC), (-) epicatechin gallate (ECG), (-) epigallocatechin (EGC), and (-) epigallocatechin gallate (EGCG), have been studied extensively for their wide-ranging biological activities. The goal of the present study was to examine the stability of GTC as a mixture under various processing conditions. The stability study demonstrated that GTC was stable in water at room temperature. When it was brewed at 98 degrees C for 7 h, longjing GTC degraded by 20%. When longjing GTC and pure EGCG were autoclaved at 120 degrees C for 20 min, the epimerization of EGCG to (-) gallocatechin gallate (GCG) was observed. The relatively high amount of GCG found in some tea drinks was most likely the epimerization product of EGCG during autoclaving. If other ingredients were absent, the GTC in aqueous solutions was pH-sensitive: the lower the pH, the more stable the GTC during storage. When it was added into commercially available soft drinks or sucrose solutions containing citric acid and ascorbic acid, longjing GTC exhibited varying stability irrespective of low pH value. This suggested that other ingredients used in production of tea drinks might interact with GTC and affect its stability. When canned and bottled tea drinks are produced, stored, and transported, the degradation of GTC must be taken into consideration.

(2) Sakata I, Ikeuchi M, Maruyama I, Okuda T. [Quantitative analysis of (-)-epigallocatechin gallate in tea leaves by high-performance liquid chromatography] Yakugaku Zasshi. 1991 Dec;111(12):790-3.

The quantitative analysis of (-)-epigallocatechin gallate (EGCG) in tea (Camellia sinensis L.) was performed by high-performance liquid chromatography (HPLC) with a C-18 reversed-phase column. EGCG was then eluted within 20 min by using methanol-water-acetic acid (20:75:5 (v/v/v)) as an eluent. As an internal standard, tryptophan was used. The content of EGCG in five kinds of green tea (sencha, gyokuro, bancha, matsucha and oolong tea) and in a cup of those was determined by both the extraction method with 50% (v/v) methanol and the infusion method with water. The largest amount of EGCG was obtained from matsucha by the extraction method, or from sencha by the infusion method. Furthermore, EGCG contents in various parts of the tea plant were examined. The first leaf had the highest concentration of EGCG, and the concentration of EGCG decreased with the aging of the leaf.

(3) Khokhar S, Magnusdottir SG. Total phenol, catechin, and caffeine contents of teas commonly consumed in the United Kingdom. J Agric Food Chem. 2002 Jan 30;50(3):565-70.

Levels of total phenol, catechins, and caffeine in teas commonly consumed in the United Kingdom have been determined using reversed phase high-performance liquid chromatography. Tea bags or tea leaves were purchased from local supermarkets and extracted in boiling water for 5 min. The resulting data showed considerable variability in both total phenols [80.5-134.9 mg/g of dry matter (DM) in black teas and 87-106.2 mg/g of DM in green teas] and catechins (5.6-47.5, 51.5-84.3, and 8.5-13.9 mg/g of DM in black, green, and fruit teas, respectively); this was most probably a result of differing agronomic conditions, leaf age, and storage during and after transport, as well as the degree of fermentation. Caffeine contents of black teas (22-28 mg/g of DM) were significantly higher than in less fermented green teas (11-20 mg/g of DM). The relative concentration of the five major tea catechins ranked EGCG > ECG > EC > EGC > C. The estimated U.K. dietary intakes of total tea catechins, calculated on the basis of an average tea consumption of three cups of tea (200 mL cup, 1% tea leaves w/v), were 61.5, 92.7, and 405.5 mg/day from fruit teas, black teas, and green teas, respectively. The coefficients of variation were 19.4, 88.6, and 17.3%, respectively, indicating the wide variation in these intakes. The calculated caffeine intake ranged between 92 and 146 mg/day. In addition, many individuals will consume much larger quantities of tea, of various strengths (as determined by the brewing conditions employed). This broad spread of U.K. daily intakes further emphasizes the need for additional research to relate intake and effect in various population groups.


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