Impact of light irradiation on black tea quality during withering

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Abstract

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.

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Abbreviations

C:

Catechin

EC:

Epicatechin

ECG:

Epicatechingallate

EDTA:

Ethylene diaminetetraacetic acid

EGC:

Epigallocatechin

EGCG:

Epigallocatechingallate

EI:

Electron impact

GC:

Gallocatechin

GC–MS:

Gas chromatography-mass spectrometer

He:

Helium

HPLC:

High performance liquid chromatography

NADPH:

Reduced nicotinamide adenine dinucleotide phosphate

SDE:

Simultaneous distillation and extraction

TF1:

Theaflavin

TF2A:

Theaflavin-3-gallate

TF2B:

Theaflavin-3′-gallate

TF3:

Theaflavin-3, 3′-digallate

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Acknowledgements

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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Correspondence to Yuqiong Chen.

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Zeyi Ai and Beibei Zhang have contributed equally to this work and should be considered co-first authors.

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Ai, Z., Zhang, B., Chen, Y. et al. Impact of light irradiation on black tea quality during withering. J Food Sci Technol 54, 1212–1227 (2017). https://doi.org/10.1007/s13197-017-2558-z

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Keywords

  • Black tea
  • Withering
  • Light
  • Sensory quality
  • Chemical components