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J AOAC Int. 2011 Mar-Apr;94(2):487-97.

A non-targeted approach to chemical discrimination between green tea dietary supplements and green tea leaves by HPLC/MS.

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  • 1U.S. Department of Agriculture, Food Composition and Methods Development Laboratory, Beltsville Human Nutrition Research Center, Agricultural Research Service, Beltsville, MD, USA.


Green tea-based dietary supplements (GTDSs) have gained popularity in the U.S. market in recent years. This study evaluated the phytochemical composition difference of GTDS in comparison with green tea leaves using an HPLC/MS fingerprinting technique coupled with chemometric analysis. Five components that are most responsible for class separation among samples were identified as (-) epicatechin gallate, strictinin, trigalloylglucose, quercetin-3-O-glucosyl-rhamnosylglucoside, and kaempferol-3-O-galactosyl-rhamnosylglucoside, according to the accurate mass measurements and MS/MS data. The similarity coefficients between the GTDSs in solid form with green tea were 0.55 to 0.91, while for the GTDSs in liquid form they were 0.12 to 0.89, which suggested that chemical composition variance across the GTDSs was significant. Flavonol aglycone concentrations were higher in GTDSs than in tea leaves, indicating the degradation of flavonol glycosides or the oxidation of catechin during the manufacturing and storage processes. In some GTDS samples, compounds were identified that were on the label. The results demonstrate the urgency of QC for GTDS products.

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