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J Sep Sci. 2011 Sep;34(18):2468-74. doi: 10.1002/jssc.201100401. Epub 2011 Jul 7.

Optimum conditions for the water extraction of L-theanine from green tea.

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School of Environmental and Life Sciences, University of Newcastle, Ourimbah, NSW, Australia.


Theanine is a unique non-protein amino acid found in tea (Camellia sinensis). It contributes to the favourable umami taste of tea and is linked to various beneficial effects in humans. There is an increasing interest in theanine as an important component of tea, as an ingredient for novel functional foods and as a dietary supplement. Therefore, optimal conditions for extracting theanine from tea are required for the accurate quantification of theanine in tea and as an efficient first step for its purification. This study examined the effects of four different extraction conditions on the yield of theanine from green tea using water and applied response surface methodology to further optimise the extraction conditions. The results showed that temperature, extraction time, ratio of water-to-tea and tea particle sizes had significant impacts on the extraction yield of theanine. The optimal conditions for extracting theanine from green tea using water were found to be extraction at 80 °C for 30 min with a water-to-tea ratio of 20:1 mL/g and a tea particle size of 0.5-1 mm.

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