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J Food Drug Anal. 2015 Mar;23(1):116-123. doi: 10.1016/j.jfda.2014.07.007. Epub 2014 Dec 5.

Significant elevation of antiviral activity of strictinin from Pu'er tea after thermal degradation to ellagic acid and gallic acid.

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Graduate Institute of Biotechnology, National Chung-Hsing University, Taichung, Taiwan.
Graduate Institute of Microbiology and Public Health, National Chung Hsing University, Taichung, Taiwan.
Graduate Institute of Biotechnology, National Chung-Hsing University, Taichung, Taiwan; Agricultural Biotechnology Research Center, Academia Sinica, Taipei, Taiwan. Electronic address:


Compared with abundant catechins, strictinin is a minor constituent in teas and has been demonstrated to possess inhibitory potency on influenza virus. In this study, strictinin was found as the major phenolic compound in Pu'er teas produced from leaves and buds of wild trees. Due to its thermal instability, strictinin, in tea infusion or in an isolated form, was completely decomposed to ellagic acid and gallic acid after being autoclaved for 7 minutes. A plaque reduction assay was employed to compare the relative inhibitory potency between strictinin and its thermally degraded products against human influenza virus A/Puerto Rico/8/34. The results showed that the antiviral activity of ellagic acid regardless of the presence or absence of gallic acid was significantly higher than that of strictinin. Thermal degradation of strictinin to ellagic acid and gallic acid seems to be beneficial for the preparation of Pu'er teas in terms of enhancing antiviral activity.


Pu'er tea; antiviral activity; ellagic acid; gallic acid; strictinin

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