Phytochemical Composition and Antioxidant Capacity of 30 Chinese Teas

Antioxidants (Basel). 2019 Jun 18;8(6):180. doi: 10.3390/antiox8060180.


Tea has been reported to prevent and manage many chronic diseases, such as cancer, diabetes, obesity, and cardiovascular diseases, and the antioxidant capacity of tea may be responsible for these health benefits. In this study, the antioxidant capacities of fat-soluble, water-soluble, and bound-insoluble fractions of 30 Chinese teas belonging to six categories, namely green, black, oolong, dark, white, and yellow teas, were systematically evaluated, applying ferric-reducing antioxidant power and Trolox equivalent antioxidant capacity assays. In addition, total phenolic contents of teas were determined by Folin-Ciocalteu method, and the contents of 18 main phytochemical compounds in teas were measured by high-performance liquid chromatography (HPLC). The results found that several teas possessed very strong antioxidant capacity, and caffeine, theaflavine, gallic acid, chlorogenic acid, ellagic acid, and kaempferol-3-O-glucoside, as well as eight catechins, were the main antioxidant compounds in them. Thus, these teas could be good natural sources of dietary antioxidants, and their extracts might be developed as food additives, nutraceuticals, cosmetics, and pharmaceuticals.

Keywords: Camellia sinensis; antioxidant activity; caffeine; catechin; polyphenol; tea; theaflavine.