Increase of theaflavin gallates and thearubigins by acceleration of catechin oxidation in a new fermented tea product obtained by the tea-rolling processing of loquat (Eriobotrya japonica) and green tea leaves.J Agric Food Chem. 2009 Jul 08; 57(13):5816-22.JA
In a project to produce a new fermented tea product from non-used tea leaves harvested in the summer, we found that kneading tea leaves (Camellia sinensis) with fresh loquat leaves (Eriobotrya japonica) accelerated the enzymatic oxidation of tea catechins. The fermented tea obtained by tea-rolling processing of tea and loquat leaves had a strong, distinctive flavor and a plain aftertaste, which differed from usual black, green, and oolong teas. The phenolic constituents were similar to those of black tea. However, the concentrations of theaflavin 3-O-gallate, theaflavin 3,3'-di-O-gallate, and thearubigins were higher in the tea leaves kneaded with loquat leaves than in tea leaves kneaded without loquat leaves. The results from in vitro experiments suggested that acceleration of catechin oxidation was caused by the strong oxidation activity of loquat leaf enzymes and a coupled oxidation mechanism with caffeoyl quinic acids, which are the major phenolic constituents of loquat leaves.