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Rapid selection of catechin-rich tea trees (Camellia sinensis) by a colorimetric method


A rapid and efficient colorimetric method based on the use of Fast Blue B-salt (FBB) was established to select catechin-rich tea trees (Camellia sinensis L.). The catechin levels measured by the colorimetric method under optimized reaction conditions correlated closely with estimations by high-performance liquid chromatography (HPLC) analysis. The FBB colorimetric method was successfully used to classify 160 tea trees on the basis of their catechin contents into rich and poor lines. HPLC analysis of the FBB-selected tea tree extracts showed them to contain (−)-epigallocatechin 186 mg/g in tea tree line HR-29, (−)-epicatechin 43.7 mg/g in HR-82, (−)-epigallocatechin gallate 4.32 mg/g in HR-29, and (−)-epicatechin gallate 0.22 mg/g in HR-52. Classification of tea trees from the Hadong region into catechin-rich and -poor trees was independent of the growing season. Thus the FBB colorimetric method could find application as a reliable tool in screening and selection of tea trees on the basis of their catechin content.


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Correspondence to Myung Suk Choi.

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Kim, Y.D., Min, J.Y., Jeong, M.J. et al. Rapid selection of catechin-rich tea trees (Camellia sinensis) by a colorimetric method. J Wood Sci 56, 411–417 (2010).

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Key words

  • Selection
  • Tea tree
  • Catechin
  • Fast Blue B salt
  • Colorimetric method