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Which is the best type of tea? The skinny on polyphenols and antioxidant activity…

What are polyphenols?

“Polyphenols are plant derived chemicals with superb antioxidant, anti-inflammatory, anti-bacterial and skin rejuvenating capabilities. Tea polyphenols, especially catechins, are potent antimicrobial and antioxidant agents, with positive effects on human health.”

White tea is one of the less studied teas but the flavor is more accepted than that of green tea in Europe. In a recent study, the concentrations of various catechins in 13 different kinds of infusion were determined by capillary electrophoresis (measuring the total polyphenol content and the inhibitory effect of infusions of each type of tea on the growth of some microorganisms). Five different infusions (black, white, green and red teas and rooibos infusion) were added to a model food system and the oxidative stability of each was observed.

The highest radical-scavenging activity observed was for the green and white teas.

Reference: Food Chemistry
Volume 108, Issue 1, 1 May 2008, Pages 55-63.