Influence of hot water blanching process on phenolic profile and antioxidant activity of Cinnamomum porrectum herbal tea
Background: C. porrectum leaves, one kind of Cinnamomum family, has recently been used to produce a locally herbal tea. Although C. porrectum essential oil and aqueous extract have been reported to have some biological activities, including antioxidant, antimicrobial, and anti-inflammatory activities, there is no scientific data using the blanching process for the production of herbal tea. Therefore, this experiment aimed to study the effect of hot water blanching before drying process on microstructure, nutrition content of the tea powder, TPC, TFC, antioxidant activities of infusion, as well as the phenolic profile of the extract.
Objective: To determine effect of hot water blanching process on nutritional value, microstructure, phenolic profile, and antioxidant activity of the C. porrectum herbal tea.
Methods: The C. porrectum leaves were divided into 2 groups; control (un-treated) and blanched before dried for herbal tea processing. The fresh leaves and the powders of control and blanched leaves were checked for proximate composition and chlorophyll contents, in addition to color value. The powders were determined microstructure by SEM. The infusions were determined to have color value and total extractable phenolic and flavonoid contents, as well as antioxidant activities. The hydrolyzed extracts of freeze dried infusion were subjected to identify phenolic profile by HPLC.
Results: The blanched tea powder yielded a percentage of fat and protein contents higher than un-treated due to easier extraction because of the bigger pore size found in microstructure. Chlorophyll content of blanched was decreased compared with the control sample. However, it was found that blanching could greater maintain green color of both powder and infusion. Additionally, blanching helped increased TPC, TFC extractability, and antioxidant activities in all assays except metal chelating property. Based on retention time and peak profile determined by using HPLC, it was found that both control and treated extracts consisted of similar main phenolic and flavonoid compounds however, only kaempferol was found in un-treated. Moreover, hydrolyzed blanched extract showed a higher intensity of 2 unknown compounds than un-treated. Though un-treated provided a higher intensity of pyrogallol, gallic acid, and cinnamic acid, the blanched exhibited a higher intensity of caffeic acid, protocatechuic acid, p-coumaric acid, and rutin.
Conclusion: Blanching before drying expanded pore size of dried leaves, increased yield extractability, maintained color value, chlorophylls and increased TPC and TFC which related to antioxidant activities. Blanched extract provided higher intensity of some phenolic compounds than un-treated.
Keywords: Cinnamomum porrectum, blanching process, SEM, HPLC
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