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J Chromatogr A. 2006 Apr 21;1112(1-2):195-201. Epub 2005 Oct 18.

Analytical separation of tea catechins and food-related polyphenols by high-speed counter-current chromatography.

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  • 1Division of Structural Biology and Analytical Science, School of Pharmacy, Tokyo University of Pharmacy and Life Science, 1432-1 Horinouchi, Hachioji, Tokyo 192-0392, Japan.


High-speed counter-current chromatography (HSCCC) using the type-J coil planet centrifuge was applied to compositional analysis of tea catechins and separation of other food-related polyphenols. The HSCCC separation of nine different standard compounds and those from extracts of commercial tea leaves was performed with a two-phase solvent system composed of tert-butyl methyl ether-acetonitrile-0.1% aqueous trifluoroacetic acid (TFA) (2:2:3, v/v/v) by eluting the upper organic phase at a flow rate of 2 ml/min. The main compounds in the extract of non-fermented green tea were found to be monomeric catechins, their galloylated esters and caffeine. In addition to these compounds, oxidized pigments, such as hydrophobic theaflavins (TFs) and polar thearubigins (TRs) were also separated and detected from the extracts of semi-fermented oolong tea and fermented black tea. Furthermore, several food-related polyphenols, such as condensed catechin oligomers (procyanidins), phenolic acids and flavonol glycosides were clearly separated under the same HSCCC condition. These separation profiles of HSCCC provide useful information about the hydrophobic diversity of these bioactive polyphenols present in various types of teas and food products.

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