Phytochemical profiles and antioxidant activities of Chinese dark teas obtained by different processing technologies.Food Res Int. 2017 10; 100(Pt 3):486-493.FR
Dark teas are rich in secondary metabolites, such as phenolics and flavonoids, which have been suggested to be associated with their health benefits. In this study, the concentrations of tea polyphenols, tea pigments, catechins, flavonoids, alkaloid, and volatile components in 44 dark tea samples, including Pu-erh, Fuzhuan and Liubao teas, were systematically examined. Among the samples tested, Pu-erh tea contained the highest total flavonoid content (5.24±0.05%), followed by Liubao (4.45±0.61%) and Fuzhuan teas (3.33±0.23%). The tea polyphenols levels in the dark teas were approximately 10%, and no statistically significant differences (p>0.05) were found among the different types. Hexadecanoic acid was the most abundant aroma component in the dark teas, accounting for 15-20% of the total volatile oils. Moreover, the antioxidant activities of these dark teas were analyzed using the 1,1-diphenyl-2-picrylhydrazyl (DPPH) assay, 2,2'-azino-bis(3-ethylbenzothiazoline-6-sulphonic acid) diammonium salt (ABTS) assay, ferric reducing antioxidant power (FRAP) assay, and cellular antioxidant activity (CAA) assay (HepG2 cells). The fat metabolism modulation activities (FMMA) of the dark teas were tested using a high-throughput screening method (SMMC-7221 cells). The results indicated that the different dark teas had diverse antioxidant activities, and the variation in the activities was significant. Correlation analysis showed that there was a significant positive correlation between the levels of EGCG and antioxidant activities measured using the ABTS (r=0.916) and FRAP (r=0.853) assays, and the levels of total flavonoids and theabrownins correlated well with the values determined using the CAA (r=0.845 and 0.865, respectively) assay.