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Phenolic Acids and Quercetin-3-O-rutinoside: Key Contributors in Green Tea Bitterness and Astringency


A recent study aimed to analyze the taste characteristics of phenolic acids and their influence on the bitterness and astringency of green tea by sensory evaluation and chemical determination.

Tasting Green Tea

Phenolic acids are important taste components in green tea.

The major tea phenolic acids and quercetin-3-O-rutinoside (Que-rut) were significantly positively correlated with the bitterness and astringency of green tea infusion. The phenolic acids have a sour and astringent taste, whereas Que-rut has a mild astringent taste. Phenolic acids and Que-rut can increase the bitterness of epigallocatechin gallate (EGCG).

However, these components behaved differently for astringency on EGCG. Further elaborated, Gallic acid (GA) showed to enhance the astringency throughout all the concentrations used. While it seemed to be double effects of caffeic acid (CA), chlorogenic acid (CGA), and Que-rut on that, i.e., the inhibition at lower concentrations but enhancement at higher ones.

Moreover, their findings revealed that the phenolic acids and Que-rut interacted synergistically with tea infusion and as their concentration increased, the synergistic enhancement of the bitterness and astringency of tea infusion increased.

Such research findings help provide a theoretical basis for improving the taste of middle and green tea.

The effect of polyphenols on the taste of herbal drinks will be discussed by professional speakers during the Polyphenols Applications 2022 congress. 

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Photo credit: DCStudio -