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14, No 6 (2005), 861-867
Letter to Editor
Tea Extracts as Free Radical Scavengers
A. Gramza1*, K. Pawlak-Lemañska2, J.Korczak1, E. W¹sowicz3, M. Rudzinska3
Department of Food Technology and Human Nutrition, Agricultural University, Wojska Polskiego 31, 60-624 Poznañ, Poland 2 Department of Instrumental Analysis, University of Economics, Al. Niepodleg³oœci 10, 60-967 Poznañ, Poland 3 Institute of Food Technology of Plant Origin, Agricultural University, Wojska Polskiego 31, 60-624 Poznañ, Poland Received: November 10, 2004 Accepted: April 21, 2005
Antiradical activity was measured with the use of two different methods of scavenging the stable free radicals ABTS+• and DPPH•. Examined tea extracts showed different antiradical activity. Best activity in scavenging ABTS+• expressed as TAA (total antioxidant activity) showed black tea aqueous and ethanol extracts. Green tea extracts were four times less effective. Antiradical activity showed that the lowest concentration needed to scavenge the 50% of initial DPPH• radical (EC50) was green and black tea ethanol extracts. Aqueous extracts showed 50% lower activity than equivalent ethanol extracts. Research proved that antiradical activity of plant extracts is dependent on mechanisms of oxidative activity of free radicals used and the chemical structure of contained antioxidants.
Keywords: free radicals, ABTS+•, DPPH•, radical scavengers, green and black tea extracts, polyphenols, antioxidant activity.
There is growing interest in drinking tea all over the world, which could be connected with polyphenol antioxidative activity, fighting the harmful influence of environmentally generated free radicals . All living animals and plants are permanently on environmental hazard, influenced by such highly reactive molecules as free radicals. Oxidative damage originates from an increase in free radical production either by exogenous radicals such as radiation, pollution and cigarette smoking. Other sources are endogenous sources, such as inflammation, the respiratory burst and xenobiotic killing [2, 3, 4]. Significant free radicals include superoxide, hydroxyl and peroxyl radicals. Radicals are unstable oxygen compounds with an unpaired electron in the atomic electron shell. Since all molecules tend to have complete electron pairs, the radicals react aggressively with other molecules, trapping electrons away from them. These mole*Corresponding author; e-mail: email@example.com
cules become radicals, starting chain reactions. The endogenous radicals are a result of normal metabolic processes, whereas exogenous radicals, developing outside the body, are recognized as environmental factors, such as UV radiation, stress and air pollution. In a healthy organism the chain reaction is interrupted by antioxidants – radical traps . Living organisms have developed the antioxidative system, enzymatic and non-enzymatic, protecting from toxemia. Research shows much interest in the influence of radicals generated by different environmental factors on human health and food stability, but there still is a need to find substances that would have antiradical properties. Free radicals operating in the cells modify important proteins, damaging the cell membrane and its genotype. Research has shown that all types of organs and tissues are subject to radicals’ varied effects [6,7]. Several epidemiological studies have suggested the importance of secondary plant products – polyphenol consumption in reducing the incidence of degenerative diseases . Those substances possess strong antioxidative activity and are counterparts to oxidative stress .
7. 15. with stable absorbance at 734 nm for at least 2 h. The TAA value is based on stability of the antioxidant to scavenge the blue-green colored ABTS+• radical cation in comparison to scavenging ability of water-soluble vitamin E analogue – Trolox. a C2-C3 double bond in C-ring and the presence of 3-hydroxyl groups are listed as main the conditions of antiradical and antioxidant properties [17. mainly catechins (EGCG.2diphenyl-1-picrylhydrazyl (DPPH) was purchased from Sigma-Aldrich (Poland). Gramza A. Aqueous tea extracts were prepared by heating ground tea leaves (100 g) in double-distilled water (1000 ml). 15 min). then filtered.. C. with slight modifications . . Lower EC50 value proves the higher antioxidant ability of studied substra- Plant Material Green and black Yunan teas were bought at a specialty tea shop. The ABTS+• solutions. EC). ethanol POCH (Poland).2’-azinobis-(3-ethyl-benzothiazoline-6-sulphonic acid) diammonium salt (ABTS) (Fluka). 16]. This procedure was repeated three times. the reaction was initiated by the addition of hydrogen peroxide. 11. Collected extracts were filtered through filter paper and centrifuged (4500 rpm. The results were expressed as catechin equivalents in mg/g of extract.9 ml of DPPH• 0. Extracts were prepared according to the method by Gramza et al. An aliquot of ethanol (0. The TAA value represents the ratio between the slope of this plot for scavenging of ABTS+• by the antioxidant. which undergo oxidation to form theaflavins and thearubigens in the manufacturing of black tea [13.1 ml) solution containing different extracts concentrations (100-1000 ppm).8-tetramethylchroman-2-carboxylic acid (Trolox) (Aldrich). filtered and centrifuged (4500 rpm. After mixing. black tea ethanol – 6. The extracts were collected. The procedure was repeated three times. The decrease in absorbance at 515 nm was measured continuously with data captured at 1min intervals on a Carl Zeiss Spectrophotometer (Jena Optik). One polyphenol source is tea leaves (Camelia sinensis L. The aim of the research was to qualify the effectiveness of green and black Yunan tea extracts as the ABTS+• and DPPH• radical scavengers. was plotted against the concentration of the antioxidant.862 Much research has focused on naturally occurring plant substances – polyphenols [10. Rate of production yield was as follows: green tea ethanol – 12. DPPH• Free Radical Scavenging Method The effect of green and black tea aqueous and ethanol extracts was estimated according to the procedure described by Sanchez-Moreno et al. The sol- .). Ethanol was used to zero the spectrophotometer. at room temperature for 24 hours. 24]. the presence of ortho-hydroxylation on B-ring of flavonoid molecules. 12]. The universally used parameters of free radicals’ scavenging ability as well as the evaluation of antioxidant potency are reactions with the radical cation ABTS+• and stable radical DPPH• [22.2% and aqueous extract – 18. The number of free hydroxyl groups.1%. 19. 20. Ethanol extracts were prepared by maceration of tea leaves (100 g) with 250 ml of 95% ethanol. The measurement of scavenging ability of ABTS+• is a very effective tool when antioxidant composition of a mixture is not wellknown (defined as TAA – total antioxidant activity) as well as the measurement of activity of fine substances or their mixture (defined as TEAC – trolox equivalent antioxidant capacity) . microperoxidase-8 (MP8) was used. The time needed to reach the steady state to EC50 concentration (TEC50) was calculated graphically. The study involved four Yunan tea extracts: ethanol and aqueous extracts of green and black tea. was added to 3. Folin-Cocalteu reagent was purchased from Fluka. All of the reagents used were of analytical grade. The percentage of remaining DPPH• was plotted to obtain the amount of antioxidant needed to decrease the initial concentration by 50%.2% and aqueous extract – 23. To generate ABTS+• in phosphate-buffered saline (pH 7.025 g litre-1 in ethanol prepared daily. EGC. consisting of flavonoids.5. compared to the slope for ABTS+• scavenging by Trolox. reflecting the ABTS+• radical scavenging capacity of antioxidant. 21]. microperoxidase-8.4). 23. . 2. ECG. 18. 6-hydroxy-2. 15 min). et al. vent was evaporated on rotary evaporator (RVO 200A. Standard concentrations of (+)-catechin between 0-600 μg/ml were used to prepare calibration curve. The powdered aqueous and ethanol extracts were kept frozen (-18°C) until further use. 14. Then extracts were frozen and lyophilized under a vacuum. Experimental Procedures Reagents (+)-catechin (C) (Merck). DPPH• stock solution was stored at 4°C until it was used. Total Polyphenol Content The levels of total polyphenols were determined according to the method by Horwitz  with the use of Folin-Ciocalteu phenol reagent. (2.8%. until reaction reached plateau. ABTS+• Free Radical Scavenging Method The antioxidant activity of tea extracts was measured by TAA assay described by Lemañska et al. were used for the determination of TAA assay with tea extracts in ethanol to give the final concentration required. The decrease in absorbance. INGOS). followed by stirring for 15 min at 80°C.
Tea Extracts as Free . dependent on their concentration in the system. Fig.001).001).001). as AE parameter (antiradical efficiency) . Data were analyzed by the analysis of variance (p≤0. The multifactor variance analysis showed that the ability of scavenging DPPH • radicals by Yunan tea extracts depends on extract concentration and was best at 1000 ppm (p <0.001). The faster the absorption decreases. Statistical Analysis The results were obtained from a minimum of four independent experiments and averaged.5 μM/g of dry weight. The antiradical activity analysis permitted classifying tea extracts in low activity group. possessing higher ability of hydrogen donation . Highest polyphenol content was observed in extracts with 95% ethanol used. The binary analysis of variance showed that green tea extracts possessed the considerably lower ability of scavenging radical cation ABTS+• than the black tea (p <0. The lowest concentration necessary for scavenging 50% of the DPPH• radical (EC50) was affirmed for green tea ethanol extract (209. tum. .8 mg/g. Fig.4 μM/g of dry weight. however. the lowest showed green tea aqueous extract (0. taking into account its concentration. It was confirmed that ethanol extraction allowed obtaining four times. 2. aqueous and ethanol extracts of green tea. Results were processed using Statistica 6. Green tea ethanol extract showed the highest ability of scavenging studied radicals (0. Taking into account that EC50 and TEC50.70 g/kg). Statistical analysis allowed us to submit significant differences in polyphenol contents in all samples (p <0. This parameter permits objective comparison of extracts antiradical activity.61 g/kg) and black (210. Results showed that total polyphenol content in tea extracts varied between 837.4 μM/g and 342. Antiradical activity of tea extracts were presented in Table 1. and dependent from solvent used for the extraction and tea kind (p <0. Antiradical efficiency parameter allowed dividing the extracts into different antiradical activity groups: AE = 1 · 10-3 low antiradical activity 1 · 10-3 <AE = 5 · 10-3 medium antiradical activity 5 · 10-3 <AE = 10 · 10-3 high antiradical activity AE> 10 · 10-3 very high antiradical activity 863 The analysis results of scavenging radical cation ABTS+• ability by tea extracts are presented in Figure 2. The time for reaching DPPH• radical stable concentration (TEC50) was 19 and 20. 1. this was lower with the use of water. The absorbance decrease is connected with the radical scavenging ability by the antioxidants contained in the studied extracts. The highest antioxidant activity among studied extracts was affirmed for black tea's extracts: aqueous 1256. The ability of DPPH • radical scavenging was also extremely dependent on applied solvent (p <0. The dependence curves of remaining DPPH• radical in the reaction system and Yunan tea extract’s concentration in precise time was presented in Figure 3. as well as the time of this process. The level of total phenolic in black and green Yunan tea leaves and extracts varied between 148. affect the antiradical capacity. higher for ethanol extracts..05) to estimate the differences between values of compounds tested.001)..0 μM/g and ethanol 1206. respectively.7 mg/g (p <0. water about twice higher polyphenol content. Scavenging effect of tea extracts on ABTS radical cation. the stronger the antioxidant. Results Total polyphenol content is expressed as catechin equivalent (Figure 1). Total polyphenol contents in green and black Yunan tea extracts [mg catechin/g dry weight extract].6 – 245.0 software.001).6 and 837. Considerably higher values of AE coefficient were affirmed for ethanol.13 · 10-3). tea extracts. however. The influence of applied solvent was not indicated. 237. not aqueous. The range of extract concentrations and measurement frequencies were established experimentally.25 minutes.25 · 10-3). antiradical efficiency was defined: AE = 1) EC50 · TEC50. indispensable for lowering the initial DPPH• radical quantity for 50%. than it was estimated in green and black tea leaves. The analysis of curves permitted affirmation that studied extracts showed the DPPH• radical scavenging ability.
Tea extracts antiradical efficiency.5-134. There were affirmed considerably lower radicals scavenging activity of tea extracts. Present research shows that extraction with ethanol allowed receiving 60% higher content of polyphenols in comparison with water extraction. Manzocco et al. It might be considered. catechins occurred in considerably lower quantities.1 mg/g) . Fig. however. Total polyphenol content in black and green tea leaves measured by Khokhar and Magnusdottir  was 80. Total polyphenol content in the present research was significantly higher. and found higher solubility of catechins in 99.5 mg/g) than in black (80. The above-mentioned observations have not been confirmed in present research. however. making up 91. However. Salah et al. et al. respectively. Those results were confirmed in ethanol and aqueous extracts of tea leaves.1000 ppm.3 mM TEAC (g of extract) than black tea (5. Research confirmed considerably higher activity of the green tea extract (7.5% ethanol than in 50% ethanol solution with water. Scavenging Effect of Tea Extracts on ABTS+• Radical (TAA) Arts et al.8 mM TEAC (g of extract).500 ppm. Similarly to Arts  suggestions. Hoff and Singleton estimated similar levels of polyphenols in green and black tea leaves . 3. the strong proprieties of ABTS+• radical scavenging by black tea might be alleged by the presence of tannins. Nwuha et al.  measured the antioxidative activity of catechins towards the radicals generated in aqueous phase. ex- . Hydrogen-donating ability of tea extracts as assessed by the DPPH radical method.864 Gramza A.9 mg/g and 65.200 ppm.100 ppm.8106. The authors suggest that green tea activity is the result of the presence of considerable quantities of catechins. containing a considerably larger quantity of catechins.  also analyzed the solubility of tea leaf constituents. . . Black tea extracts showed nearly four times higher antiradical activity in comparison to green tea extracts. Table 1. that black tea components – tannins. estimated higher polyphenol content in green tea leaves (94.5% of the extract – show very strong antiradical proprieties.2 mg/g. In black tea. confirming the hypothesis that tea leaves and polyphenol content extracts depend on the origin and type of tea. . Disscusion of Results Total Polyphenol Content Research of polyphenol content in tea leaves and its extracts showed different results.  studied the ability of ABTS+• radical cation scavenging by commercial tea extracts containing a known type of polyphenolic fraction. . Polyphenol content in ethanol extracts was five to seven times higher than in water extract.
 affirmed that green tea ethanol extract containing 70% of catechins showed the highest ability of scavenging ABTS+• radical. however. Sanchez-Moreno et al.2-diphenyl-1-picrylhydrazyl. In ABTS+• radical test main activity factor was tea kind. containing considerably more of ECG and EGCG than the black tea extracts. Scavenging Effect of Tea Extracts on DPPH• Radical Yokozawa et al. respectively. It was shown that the TEAC value of green tea extract (3. Yen and Chen  studied the ability of scavenging DPPH• radical by tea extracts and ranked it as follows: aqueous extracts of green tea> red> black.52 · 10-3) and BHA (0.. however. considerably higher from Ginseng. oolong and black teas. or grape skin and seed extracts. and activity was higher in black tea extracts.21 · 10-3. 865 considerably higher than BHT and α. the best abilities of DPPH• free radicals scavenging was affirmed for (±)-catechin. Moreover. Additionally. TEAC-Trolox Equivalent Antioxidant Capacity. Comparison of both radicals’ scavenging abilities is unusually difficult with regard to different action mechanisms of oxidative factors. despite 10 times higher EGCG content in green tea than black tea ethanol extract . in which antiradical activity was about 25% lower than activity of black tea extract. In DPPH• test. EGCG activity was not different than EGC and GC. Results of presented research confirm the above-mentioned thesis. however.76 mM/g). and aqueous 26%. The analysis of tea extracts chemical constitution  did not confirm higher antiradical activity of green tea extract. In present research the highest antiradical activity was indicated in green (0. ECG–(-)-epicatechin gallate.2’-azinobis-(3-ethyl-benzothiazoline-6-sulphonic acid) diammonium salt. TAA-Total Antioxidant Activity. AE–antiradical efficiency. It was affirmed that ortho-dihydroxy structure in B ring of polyphenols structure is essential in radical stabilization. Quercitin and rutin showed low activity at 0. BHT–butylated hydroxytoluene. BHA–butylated hydroxyanisole.62 · 10-3).. It was affirmed that nearly 70% of activity might be classified as activity of catechins and their gallic esters.Tea Extracts as Free . the existing dependence among type of antioxidants and their activity was shown. Present research results do not confirm higher activity of aqueous extract green tea. Comparison of Yunan tea extracts DPPH• and ABTS+• free radicals scavenging ability is allowed to affirm its diversity. that in spite of gallic acid presence in 3’position of catechins C ring.78 mM/g) was higher than for its components mixture (2. EGC–(-)-epigallocatechin. including free radicals. pressed as TEAC. Hatano et al.  studied the ability of DPPH• free radical scavenging by chlorophyll and pheophitin. were the black tea ethanol extract lipophilic fraction made up 70%. Gao et al. It was affirmed that chlorophyll can deliver hydrogen for DPPH• radical reduction as well as scavenge the fatty radicals. It was also affirmed that possible antiradical activity of plant extracts was conditioned by antioxidant structures as well as other component interactions.  conducted the analysis of DPPH• free radicals scavenging ability by green and black tea aqueous extracts. formed during lipid oxygenation. Ginko Biloba.  affirmed. The analysis of chlorophyll and pheophitin content in tea extracts showed that the antiradical activity in DPPH• system was higher in samples with higher content of these compounds. EC50–antioxidant concentration necessary for scavenging 50% of DPPH• radical. They affirmed that green tea aqueous extract showed higher radicals scavenging efficiency than black tea extract.23 · 10-3) tea ethanol extracts.19 · 10-3 and 0. not only catechins. Similarly. Abbrevations ABTS-2. Miller and Rice-Evans  studied the theaflavins activity in arrangement with Trolox (TAA) and showed that the scavenging activity of radical cation ABTS+• increases with the esterification degree with gallates. The efficiency of ABTS+• radical cation scavenging formed as follows: ECG> EGCG> EGC> EC = C. EGCG-(-)-epigallocatechin gallate. EC–(-)-epicatechin.  and Nanjo et al.25 · 10-3) and black (0.  affirmed that gallic acid showed medium antiradical activity in DPPH• free radicals scavenging test (2. TEC50-time of reaching EC50 DPPH• radical stable concentration. C–(+)-catechin. as well as in metal chelating ability. DPPH-2. The research of Zieliñski and Koz³owska  confirmed similarly higher activity in scavenging the ABTS+• radical cation by different cereal grains hydrophilic than lipophilic extracts.tocopherol. The results of investigations have permitted us to rank extracts according to their decrescent antiradical proprieties: green> black> oolong tea. of the extract . Above-mentioned ascertainments are consistent with results of present research.  studied the free radicals scavenging ability by aqueous extracts of green. Comparison of the antiradical activity of α-tocopherol (0. . showed about 8% higher DPPH• radicals scavenging activity than black tea extract. quercitin and rutin.  studied the activity of ethanol and aqueous extracts from wild rose. Yet the world literature is poor in information relating to their activities. essential factors influencing antiradical activity was a kind of applied solvent and was higher in ethanol extracts.10 · 10-3) was also conducted. They affirmed that lipophilic character extracts showed lowest ABTS+• radical cation scavenging ability in comparison to hydrophilic character extracts. Green tea ethanol extract. Von Gadow et al. It was also affirmed that high activity of plant extracts in scavenging the ABTS+• radical is due to the presence of other components. Pietta et al. However. The analysis of green tea extract and equivalent mixture of component activity was also conducted. Endo et al. High antiradical potential in scavenging of DPPH• radicals was affirmed for EGCG .
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