Identification of chlorophylls and carotenoids in major teas by high-performance liquid chromatography with photodiode array detection.J Agric Food Chem. 2003 Aug 27; 51(18):5307-14.JA
The separation and identification of pigments, chlorophylls, and carotenoids of seven teas and fresh leaf of tea (Camellia sinensis) by high-performance liquid chromatography (HPLC) are described. HPLC was carried out using a Symmetry C(8) column with a photodiode array detector. Pigments were eluted with a binary gradient of aqueous pyridine solution at a flow rate of 1.0 mL/min at 25 degrees C. HPLC analyses achieved the separation of more than 100 pigment peaks, and 79 pigment species, 41 chlorophylls, and 38 carotenoids were detected. The presence of degraded chlorophylls was a common feature, and the number and the variety of pigments differed with tea species. Generally, the numbers of chlorophyll species tended to increase with processing steps, while carotenoid species were decreased, especially by heating. Particularly in green teas, a change of carotenoid structure, conversion of violaxanthin to auroxanthin, occurred. In hot water extracts of teas, both chlorophylls and carotenoids were also detected, but the concentration of chlorophylls was less than 2% as compared with acetone extracts. The pigment compositions were compared between tea species, and they are discussed in terms of the differences in their manufacturing processes.