Application of metabolomics in the analysis of manufacturing type of pu-erh tea and composition changes with different postfermentation year.J Agric Food Chem. 2010 Jan 13; 58(1):345-52.JA
Liquid chromatography-mass and multivariate analyses were employed to measure the composition of pu-erh teas and to determine the general changes in the compositional patterns of pu-erh teas during postfermentation. Principle component analysis of pu-erh teas indicated two large distinct clusters in the score plot: ripened pu-erh teas and raw pu-erh teas. The raw pu-erh teas contained more antioxidant compounds compared to ripened pu-erh teas. As a result, the raw pu-erh teas showed significantly higher antioxidant activities than the ripened pu-erh teas in the 1,1-diphenyl-2-picrylhydrazyl, Trolox equivalent antioxidant capacity, and ferric reducing antioxidant power assays. In addition, raw pu-erh teas showed significantly higher NO inhibitory and cell protective activities than the ripened pu-erh teas. Significant correlations between compounds and postfermentation year were observed in raw pu-erh teas; epigallocatechin-3-gallate, epigallocatechin, epicatechin-3-gallate, and quinic acid were decreased and gallic acid was increased in a year-dependent manner. The antioxidant activity was shown to decrease as the number of antioxidant compounds in raw pu-erh tea decreased. These findings indicate that a metabolomic approach is a useful tool for analyzing manufacturing type, postfermentation year, and antioxidant activity of pu-erh tea.