Tea World

Lesson 2

Chemical Composition of Fresh Tea Shoot

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The chemical composition of a freshly plucked tea shoots is as under:

Compounds

  %  (on dry weight basis)

Total  Polyphenols 25 – 30
Flavanols-  
(-) Epigallocatechin gallate 8 – 12
(-) Epicatechin gallate 3 – 6
(-) Epigallo catechin 3 – 6
(-) Epicatechin 1 – 3
(+) Catechin 1 – 2
(+) Gallocatechin 3 – 4
Flavonols and flavonol glycosides 3 – 4
Leuco anthocyanins 2 – 3
Polyphenolic acids and depsides 3 – 4
Caffeine 3 – 4
Theobromine 0.2
Theophyllin 0.2
   
Amino acids 4- 5
Organic acids 0.5 – 0.6
Monosaccharides 4 – 5
Polysaccharides 14 – 22
Cellulose and Hemicellulose 4 – 7
Pectins 5 -6
Lignin 5-  6
Protein 14 - 17
Lipids 3 - 5
Chlorophylls and other pigments 0.5 – 0.6
Ash (minerals) 5 - 6
Volatiles 0.01 – 0.02

Of these chemical compounds, polyphenols contribute towards the astringency, while caffeine is responsible for the briskness of the tea liquor. Volatiles present in tea leaf contribute to the aroma and chlorophylls and other pigments are responsible for colour and appearance of tea.

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