Geographical and climatic dependencies of green tea (Camellia sinensis) metabolites: a (1)H NMR-based metabolomics study.J Agric Food Chem. 2010 Oct 13; 58(19):10582-9.JA
The effects of climatic conditions on green tea metabolites in three different growing areas of Jeju Island, South Korea, were investigated through global metabolite profiling by (1)H nuclear magnetic resonance (NMR) spectroscopy. Pattern recognition methods, such as principal component analysis (PCA) and orthogonal projection on latent structure-discriminant analysis (OPLS-DA), revealed clear discriminations of green teas from the three different growing areas. Variations of theanine, isoleucine, leucine, valine, alanine, threonine, glutamine, quinic acid, glucose, epicatechin (EC), epigallocatechin (EGC), epigallocatechin-3-gallate (EGCG), and caffeine levels were responsible for the discriminations. Green teas grown in an area with high temperature, long sun exposure time, and high rainfall had higher levels of theanine but lower levels of isoleucine, leucine, valine, alanine, EC, EGC, EGCG, and caffeine than those grown in areas with relatively low temperature, short sun exposure time, and low rainfall. These results indicate that high temperature, long sun exposure, and high preciptation stimulate theanine synthesis in green tea during the spring season. This study highlights how metabolomics coupled with multivariate statistical analysis can illuminate the metabolic characteristics of green tea associated with climatic variables, thereby allowing for the assessment of quality strategy in green tea production.