Tannase is widely used in tea beverage processing because of its ability to catalyze the hydrolysis of hydrolysable tannins or gallic acid esters and effectively improve the quality of tea extracts through enzymatic extraction. A new thermophilic tannase was cloned from Aspergillus niger FJ0118 and characterized. The tannase exhibited an optimal reaction temperature of 80 °C and retained 89.6% of the initial activity after incubation at 60 °C for 2 h. The enzymatic extraction of green tea at high temperature (70 °C) for a short time (40 min) was devised on the basis of the superior thermal stability of tannase. The enzymatic reaction significantly increased the total polyphenol content of green tea extract from 137 g·kg-1 to 291 g·kg-1. The enzymatic reaction effectively degraded the ester catechins into non-ester catechins compared with the water extraction method. Results suggested that the thermally stable tannase exhibited potential applications in the enzymatic extraction of green tea beverage.
Keywords: Aspergillus niger; enzymatic extraction; tannase; tea polyphenol; thermostable.