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J Food Sci Technol. 2015 Dec;52(12):8276-83. doi: 10.1007/s13197-015-1971-4. Epub 2015 Jul 29.

Effects of alternative steeping methods on composition, antioxidant property and colour of green, black and oolong tea infusions.

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Dipartimento di Chimica, Università di Parma, Parco Area delle Scienze 17/A, 43124 Parma, Italy.
Dipartimento di Scienze degli Alimenti, Parco Area delle Scienze 47/A, 43124 Parma, Italy.


Cold water steeping is reported to maximise tea health benefits, but requires long infusion time. In this work, the employment of a brief hot infusion step followed by ice addition was evaluated. The comparison of this innovative method with hot and cold steeping was investigated on green, black and oolong teas. Catechins, xanthines and gallic acid content, antioxidant power, total phenolics and colour analysis were evaluated. Hot infusion shown rapid extractive power, but relevant compound degradation. On the contrary, cold infusion extracted higher level of healthy molecules with slow kinetic. The innovative method achieved in short time similar properties of cold infusion in terms of antioxidant power. As for bioactive compounds, such as gallic acid and epigallocatechin gallate, highest values, about double than in hot infusion, were recorded for green and black teas. This steeping method may represent an alternative approach for industrial beverage preparation.


Black tea; Caffeine; Colour; FRAP; Green tea; Oolong tea

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