Long storage may reduce green teas health benefits

March 21st, 2009 - 1:08 pm ICT by ANI  

Washington, Mar 21 (ANI): Green teas health benefits, such as fighting bacteria, viruses and cancer, may decrease following long storage of commercial tea brands, say researchers.

The healthy teas leaves produce antioxidant organic compounds called catechins that reportedly have beneficial health effects. But consumers need to be aware of possible adverse consequences of their long-term storage, say researchers Mendel Friedman and Carol Levin in an article in the Journal of Food Science, published by the Institute of Food Technologists.

Because tea generally does not spoil, it can be stored for extended periods. However, catechins in commercial tea leaves may not remain stable during long-term storage in the solid state.

For the study, tea bags were stored in their original containers in the dark at room temperature for time periods ranging from one week to six months.

Degradation of catechins in commercial tea leaves during a storage time of six months in warehouses, stores or even the home could adversely impact teas potential health benefits, say the researchers.

Even in the absence of moisture, the quality of teas may degrade with time. The researchers added that different tea varieties are harvested in different ways and at different times of the year, which might affect their catechin content. (ANI)

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