Green Assam tea
If you're looking for more antioxidants in your tea, you might want to try green teas from the Assam plants cultivated in India.
Researchers recently tested the freshly plucked leaves from three different cultivar types of teas including ten China varieties, seven Cambod varieties, and ten Assam varieties (Camellia v. assamicus), as well as reference samples.
The test included the strongest antioxidant EGCG or epigallocatechin gallate, as well as some of the other antioxidants EGC (epigallocatechin), ECG (epicatechin gallate), and EC (epicatechin) found in teas from Camellia sinensis and Camellia sinensis v. assamica.
The plants were compared during the same time of year and from plots with the same agricultural practices and soils according to tests.
All samples were dried and tested under the same conditions.
Highest catechin antixoidant levels
While there were genetic variations from variety to variety within each group, in general the averaged results for each group were as follows:
EGCG levels also followed the same pattern with
There were larger variations among the other catechins (Sabhapondit S et al, Diversity of catechin in northeast Indian tea cultivars, Scientific World Journal Volume 2012, Article ID 485193).
Previous research had shown that the Assam plants are higher in polyphenols while the China plants contained lower catechins but included quercetin and kaemferol-3-glucosides.
Since the presence of polyphenols increases the quality of the finished leaves, testing the individual tea plant cultivars allows growers to choose better plants as well as those suited to their particular environment.
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This page was last updated by Sharon Jones.
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