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J Agric Food Chem. 2008 Sep 24;56(18):8394-403. doi: 10.1021/jf801748s. Epub 2008 Aug 30.

Effect of growing and drying conditions on the phenolic composition of mate teas (Ilex paraguariensis).

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Department of Food Science and Human Nutrition, University of Illinois, 228 ERML, MC-051, 1202 West Gregory Drive, UrbanaChampaign, Illinois 61801, USA.


Mate tea ( Ilex paraguariensis) has been used for centuries and is widely consumed in Brazil, Argentina, Paraguay, and Uruguay. The aim of the present study was to determine how growing and drying conditions affect the phenolic concentration and antioxidant capacity of 15 Mate teas from forest or plantation cultivations, dried either with hot air or wood smoke. The total polyphenol concentration determined with Folin-Ciocalteu ranged from 100.3 +/- 5.5 to 179.7 +/- 3.6 mg equiv chlorogenic acid/g dry leaves. The antioxidant capacity according to the oxygen radical absorbance capacity assay ranged from 1.5 +/- 0.3 to 4.1 +/- 0.1 mmol Trolox equiv/g dry leaves. Ten phenolic compounds were identified and correlated with antioxidant capacity ( R (2) = 0.80). Principle component analysis and multivariate linear regression were conducted to assess the effect of growing and drying conditions. Sun-exposed (plantation grown) Mate teas exhibited higher levels of all polyphenols as compared to shaded (forest grown) Mate teas ( P < 0.05). Lower rainfall, temperature, and drying conditions had varying effects on the phenolics. On average, plantation grown Mate teas had a greater concentration of phenolics than forest grown teas. Thus, plantation grown Mate teas represent better potential sources for their commercial extraction.

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