Determination of total antioxidant activity and total content of polyphenols in samples of tea leaves marketed in bags

Tieme Nakamura, Fátima Santos Silva, Diego Xavier da Silva, Maryane Woth de Souza, Horácio Dorigan Moya


Objective: Tea leaves are traditionally used in folk medicine in many regions of Brazil. They contain antioxidant compounds that can protect against oxidative stress and their regular intake have been associated with decreased of cholesterol levels, blood pressure and, thereby, with the lowered risk of coronary heart disease. The objective of this study was to determine the total antioxidant capacity, the total polyphenols content, scavenging of H2O2 and presence of other groups of antioxidant compounds in 43 tea samples packed in bags. Methods: The CUPRAC method (cupric ion reducing antioxidant capacity) was used to quantify the total antioxidant capacity. The polyphenols content was performed using the Folin-Ciocalteu reagent. The scavenging assay was based on the consumption of H2O2 after addition of tea; the presence of flavonoids, carotenes and catechins was evaluated by paper chromatography. Results: The total antioxidant capacity found in tea samples followed the order: chamomile > mint > carqueja > balm > boldo > green > mate > black > white > fennel. For total polyphenol content the order was: white > mint > black > matte > boldo > green > chamomile > carqueja > balm > fennel. The differences found in the samples from the same kind of tea can be attributed to the harvest season, soil type, planting location, climate differences and from the parts of the vegetal material used in the preparation of the tea bags. Conclusion: All samples analyzed presented antioxidant activity and ability to scavenge H2O2. It was not possible to detect flavonoids, carotenes and catechins in only one sample.


tea; beverages; polyphenols; flavonoids; carotenoids; catechins


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