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Studies on tea quality grown through conventional and organic management practices: its impact on antioxidant and antidiarrhoeal activity

Ghosh, B.C., Palit, S., Gupta, S. Dutta, Swain, D.K.
Transactions of the ASABE 2008 v.51 no.6 pp. 2227-2238
Camellia sinensis, tea, leaves, organic production, fertilizer application, organic fertilizers, fertilizers, organic foods, food composition, crude fiber, phenolic compounds, starch, flavanols, polyphenols, antioxidant activity, free radical scavengers, antidiarrheal effect, diarrhea, rats
Quality tea production is in demand for its better palatability and beneficial effects on human health, including controlling several diseases with its high antioxidant properties. So far, few studies have been made on the impact of fertilizer input on tea quality. To address the issue, tea was grown under conventional and organic practices to compare the production of biochemical compounds like crude fiber, starch, total phenolics, (-)-epigallocatechin gallate [(-)-EGCG], (-)-gallocatechin gallate [(-)-GCG], and (-)-epicatechin gallate [(-)-ECG], as well as the antioxidant and antidiarrhoeal properties of the tea leaves. Organically grown tea lowered the content of crude fiber and starch as compared to the no-fertilizer treatment (control). However, the content was further lowered by the inorganic fertilizer treatment. Organic fertilization produced higher polyphenol than inorganic fertilization, which has shown greater antioxidant properties when analyzed through the methods of dot-blot and DPPH staining, DPPH radical assay, and hydroxyl radical scavenging activities by electron paramagnetic resonance spectrometry. Animal experiments conducted using green tea extracts on rodents revealed better diarrhoea control with organically tea than with inorganically grown tea. This study reveals the importance of organic agricultural practices in tea for quality improvement and sustainability of the food chain system.