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Tea Aroma Analysis Based on Solvent-Assisted Flavor Evaporation Enrichment

Published: May 26th, 2023



1Tea Research Institute Chinese Academy of Agricultural Sciences, 2State Key Laboratory of Tea Plant Biology and Utilization, Anhui Agricultural University

Presented here is a method for enriching and analyzing the volatile components of tea extracts using solvent-assisted flavor evaporation and solvent extraction followed by gas chromatography-mass spectrometry, which can be applied to all types of tea samples.

Tea aroma is an important factor in tea quality, but it is challenging to analyze due to the complexity, low concentration, diversity, and lability of the volatile components of tea extract. This study presents a method for obtaining and analyzing the volatile components of tea extract with odor preservation using solvent-assisted flavor evaporation (SAFE) and solvent extraction followed by gas chromatography-mass spectrometry (GC-MS). SAFE is a high-vacuum distillation technique that can isolate volatile compounds from complex food matrices without any non-volatile interference. A complete step-by-step procedure for tea aroma analysis is presented in this article, including the tea infusion preparation, solvent extraction, SAFE distillation, extract concentration, and analysis by GC-MS. This procedure was applied to two tea samples (green tea and black tea), and qualitative as well as quantitative results on the volatile composition of the tea samples were obtained. This method can not only be used for the aroma analysis of various types of tea samples but also for molecular sensory studies on them.

Tea is a preferred beverage of many people all over the world1,2. The aroma of the tea is a quality criterion as well as a price-determining factor for tea leaves3,4. Thus, the analysis of the aroma composition and content of tea is of great significance for molecular sensory studies and the quality control of tea. As a result, aroma composition analysis has been an important topic in tea research in recent years5,6,7.

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1. Preparation of the internal standard and tea infusion

  1. Stock solution: Dissolve 10.0 mg of paraxylene-d10 (see Table of Materials) in 10.0 mL of anhydrous ethanol to prepare a 1,000 ppm stock solution of the internal standard.
  2. Working solution: Dilute 1 mL of the stock solution (step 1.1) to 100 mL with pure water to prepare a 10 ppm working solution of the internal standard.
    NOTE: The working solution must be prepared on the same day as the analysis.
  3. .......

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The analytical procedure described above is illustrated in this section using the example of the aroma analysis of black tea and green tea samples.

A representative GC-MS chromatogram is shown in Figure 3. Figure 3A shows a set of n-alkanes, and Figure 3B shows the profile of an internal standard. The evaluation results for the extracts from the green tea and black tea samples are shown in

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This article describes an efficient method for analyzing volatile compounds in tea infusions using SAFE and GC-MS analysis.

Tea infusions have a complex matrix with a high content of non-volatile components. Several methods have been described in the literature for isolating the volatile components from tea infusions. A common method is simultaneous distillation extraction (SDE)15,16. However, it is not suitable for the analysis of tea.......

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This research was supported by the National Natural Science Foundation of China (32002094, 32102444), the China Agriculture Research System of MOF and MARA (CARS-19), and the Innovation Project for Chinese Academy of Agricultural Sciences (CAAS-ASTIP-TRI).


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Name Company Catalog Number Comments
Alkane mix (C10-C25) ANPEL CDAA-M-690035
Alkane mix (C5-C10) ANPEL CDAA-M-690037
AMDIS National Institute of Standards and Technology version 2.72 Gaithersburg, MD
Analytical balance OHAUS EX125DH
Anhydrous ethanol Sinopharm
Anhydrous sodium sulfate aladdin
Black tea Qianhe Tea Huangshan, Anhui province, China
Concentrator Biotage TurboVap
Data processor Agilent MassHunter
Dichloromethane TEDIA
GC Agilent 7890B
GC column Agilent DB-5MS
Green tea Qianhe Tea Huangshan, Anhui province, China
MS Agilent 5977B
p-Xylene-d10 Sigma-Aldrich
SAFE Glasbläserei Bahr
Ultra-pure deionized water Milipore Milli-Q
Vacuum pump Edwards T-Station 85H

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