Elemental characterization of commercial mate tea leaves (Ilex paraguariensis A. St.-Hil.) before and after hot water infusion using ion beam techniques.J Agric Food Chem. 2007 Feb 07; 55(3):741-6.JA
Ilex paraguariensis A. St.-Hil. is used to prepare a traditional tealike beverage widely appreciated in Argentina, Paraguay, Uruguay, and southern Brazil. In these countries, the tea is popularly known as mate or chimarrão. The aim of this work is to characterize the elemental composition of commercial Ilex paraguariensis and determine the portion of each element present in the leaves that is eluted in the water during the infusion process and consequently ingested by the drinker. Using the particle-induced X-ray emission technique, we verified the presence of Mg, Al, Si, P, S, Cl, K, Ca, Ti, Mn, Fe, Cu, Zn, and Rb at different concentrations, which accounts for about 3.4% of the total mass. The results show a loss of about 90% of K and Cl, 50% of Mg and P, and 20% of Mn, Fe, Cu, Zn, and Rb by the leaves after the infusion. The volume of water used in the infusion affects only the concentration of elements such as Cl, P, K, and Mg until the first 600 mL of water, where a steep decrease in the concentration of these elements was observed in brewed leaves. Furthermore, higher water temperatures (typical temperatures used in infusions, between 80 and 100 degrees C) favor the extraction of K and Cl into the infusion, while the concentration of other elements remains practically constant as a function of temperature.