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Characterisation of volatile and non-volatile metabolites in etiolated leaves of tea (Camellia sinensis) plants in the dark

Yang, Ziyin, Kobayashi, Eiji, Katsuno, Tsuyoshi, Asanuma, Toshimichi, Fujimori, Tamaki, Ishikawa, Takamasa, Tomomura, Miho, Mochizuki, Kazuo, Watase, Takaya, Nakamura, Yoriyuki, Watanabe, Naoharu
Food chemistry 2012 v.135 no.4 pp. 2268-2276
Camellia sinensis, volatile compounds, tea, phenylpropanoids, phenylpyruvic acid, high performance liquid chromatography, metabolites, environmental factors, amino acid composition, environmental impact, mass spectrometry, odors, leaves, shikimic acid
Aroma is an essential factor affecting the quality of tea (Camellia sinensis) products. While changes of volatile compounds during tea manufacturing have been intensively studied, the effect of environmental factors on volatile contents of fresh tea leaves has received less attention. We found that C. sinensis var. Yabukita kept in darkness by shading treatment for 3weeks developed etiolated leaves with significantly increased levels of volatiles, especially volatile phenylpropanoids/benzenoids (VPBs). Upstream metabolites of VPBs, in particular shikimic acid, prephenic acid, and phenylpyruvic acid, showed lower levels in dark treated than in control leaves, whereas the contents of most amino acids including l-phenylalanine, a key precursor of VPBs, were significantly enhanced. In addition, analysis by ultra performance liquid chromatography-time of flight mass spectrometry, capillary electrophoresis–time of flight mass spectrometry, high performance liquid chromatography, and gas chromatography–mass spectrometry indicated that volatile and non-volatile metabolite profiles differed significantly between dark treated and untreated leaves.