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J Agric Food Chem. 2011 Apr 27;59(8):3641-8. doi: 10.1021/jf104601v. Epub 2011 Mar 22.

Determination and comparison of γ-aminobutyric acid (GABA) content in pu-erh and other types of Chinese tea.

Author information

1
College of Pu-erh Tea, Yunnan Agricultural University, Kunming, Yunnan, China.

Abstract

Two previous studies have reported that pu-erh tea contains a high level of γ-aminobutyric acid (GABA), which is the major inhibitory neurotransmitter in the central nervous system and has several physiological functions. However, two other researchers have demonstrated that the GABA content of several pu-erh teas was low. Due to the high value and health benefits of GABA, analysis of mass-produced pu-erh tea is necessary to determine whether it is actually enriched with GABA. A high-performance liquid chromatography (HPLC) method was developed for the determination of GABA in tea, the results of which were verified by amino acid analysis using an Amino Acid Analyzer (AAA). A total of 114 samples of various types of Chinese tea, including 62 pu-erh teas, 13 green teas, 8 oolong teas, 8 black teas, 3 white teas, 4 GABA teas, and 16 process samples from two industrial fermentations of pu-erh tea (including the raw material and the first to seventh turnings), were analyzed using HPLC. Statistical analysis demonstrated that the GABA content in pu-erh tea was significantly lower than that in other types of tea (p < 0.05) and that the GABA content decreased during industrial fermentation of pu-erh tea (p < 0.05). This mass analysis and comparison suggested GABA was not a major bioactive constituent and resolved the disagreement GABA content in pu-erh tea. In addition, the GABA content in white tea was found to be significantly higher than that in the other types of tea (p < 0.05), leading to the possibility of producing GABA-enriched white tea.

PMID:
21395338
DOI:
10.1021/jf104601v
[Indexed for MEDLINE]

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