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Analysis of Aroma-active Volatiles in an SDE Extract of White Tea

Find out how simultaneous distillation-extraction (SDE) was used to collect volatile compounds from white tea — a famous Chinese tea that is cooked at boiling point before drinking. 

In this article, the SDE extract was dominated with green, floral, roasted and woody notes, and a weak sweet note. There were 32 volatile compounds identified via gas chromatography–mass spectrometry analysis, and 19 of them had a strong fragrance based on the gas chromatography-olfactometry analysed results.

The benefits of white tea have been shown to possibly help with lung tissues, control body weight and even provide some antioxidant activities. It is normally cooked at boiling point in a teapot for a short time. To date, researchers have investigated the aroma of white tea at room temperature but not in the cooking process, which could make a difference to the volatiles in comparison with dry teas and fresh tea infusions. This could be due to the length of the cooking time that could cause volatiles to evaporate and side reactions to happen under thermal treatment.

The aim of the study was to help in the understanding of the aroma characteristic during tea making and drinking.

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Reference
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1. Qi Lin et al., Food Science & Nutrition , Janurary 2021. (https://doi.org/10.1002/fsn3.1954)