Removal of caffeine from green tea by microwave-enhanced vacuum ice water extraction
Author: Zaixiang Lou and Chaojuan Er and Jing Li and Hongxin Wang and Song Zhu and Juntao Sun
In order to selectively remove caffeine from green tea, a microwave-enhanced vacuum ice water extraction (MVIE) method was proposed. The effects of MVIE variables including extraction time, microwave power, and solvent to solid radio on the removal yield of caffeine and the loss of total phenolics (TP) from green tea were investigated. The optimized conditions were as follows: solvent (mL) to solid (g) ratio was 10:1, microwave extraction time was 6 min, microwave power was 350 W and 2.5 h of vacuum ice water extraction. The removal yield of caffeine by MVIE was 87.6%, which was significantly higher than that by hot water extraction, indicating a significant improvement of removal efficiency. Moreover, the loss of TP of green tea in the proposed method was much lower than that in the hot water extraction. After decaffeination by MVIE, the removal yield of TP tea was 36.2%, and the content of TP in green tea was still higher than 170 mg g−1. Therefore, the proposed microwave-enhanced vacuum ice water extraction was selective, more efficient for the removal of caffeine. The main phenolic compounds of green tea were also determined, and the results indicated that the contents of several catechins were almost not changed in MVIE. This study suggests that MVIE is a new and good alternative for the removal of caffeine from green tea, with a great potential for industrial application.