Journal of Food Science and Technology

, Volume 54, Issue 5, pp 1212–1227 | Cite as

Impact of light irradiation on black tea quality during withering

  • Zeyi Ai
  • Beibei Zhang
  • Yuqiong ChenEmail author
  • Zhi Yu
  • Huacai Chen
  • Dejiang Ni
Original Article


Black tea manufacture usually involves the processes of withering, cutting, fermentation and drying. The aim of present study was to evaluate the effect of the relationship between the quality and withering with different light sources (ultraviolet, yellow, blue, purple, orange, red, cyan, green and white) an quality attribute of tea. The results indicated that the yellow, orange and red light withering significantly improved the aroma and taste, imparting the tea a sweet flavor and a fresh and mellow taste. Tea treated with yellow light was scored highest the sensory scores and showed the highest content in catechins, theaflavins, amino acids and aroma components, followed by the orange and red light treatments. The black tea withered with ultraviolet light showed a strong astringency, probably resulting from low contents of theaflavins, amino acids and soluble sugar. The green light irradiation remarkably damaged the aroma and taste of the tea, leading to a strong greenish flavor and an astringent taste, probably owing to the lowest contents of chemical compositions. No significant cumulative effect was found in the hybrid light withering treatments. Therefore, monochromatic yellow, orange and red lights were suggested for withering the black tea to improve its overall quality.


Black tea Withering Light Sensory quality Chemical components 









Ethylene diaminetetraacetic acid






Electron impact




Gas chromatography-mass spectrometer




High performance liquid chromatography


Reduced nicotinamide adenine dinucleotide phosphate


Simultaneous distillation and extraction








Theaflavin-3, 3′-digallate



This study was supported by Key Projects in the National Science & Technology Pillar Program during the 25-year Plan Period (2012BAF07B05-2) and the Fundamental Research Funds for the Central Universities (2662015PY136).


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Copyright information

© Association of Food Scientists & Technologists (India) 2017

Authors and Affiliations

  • Zeyi Ai
    • 1
  • Beibei Zhang
    • 1
  • Yuqiong Chen
    • 1
    Email author
  • Zhi Yu
    • 1
  • Huacai Chen
    • 2
  • Dejiang Ni
    • 1
  1. 1.Key Laboratory of Horticultural Plant Biology, Ministry of EducationHuazhong Agricultural UniversityWuhanPeople’s Republic of China
  2. 2.China Jiliang UniversityHangzhouPeople’s Republic of China

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