1H NMR-based metabolomic characterization during green tea (Camellia sinensis) fermentation
Author: Jang-Eun Lee and Bum-Jin Lee and Jin-Oh Chung and Hyun-Jung Shin and Sang-Jun Lee and Cherl-Ho Lee and Young-Shick Hong
The metabolic behavior of green tea (Camellia sinensis) during tea fermentation was characterized by 1H NMR spectroscopy coupled with multivariate statistical analysis to provide comprehensive information on changes in metabolites induced by tea fermentation. Fourteen tea metabolites of epicatechin (EC), epigallocatechin (EGC), epicatechin-3-gallate (ECG), epigallocatechin-3-gallate (EGCG), theanine, alanine, acetate, quinate, glutamate, caffeine, sucrose, glucose, and gallate, as identified by 1H NMR spectroscopy, were responsible for metabolic differentiation between green tea and fermented tea by principal component analysis. During tea fermentation, levels of EC, EGC, ECG, EGCG, quinate, caffeine, and sucrose were decreased, whereas gallate and glucose levels were increased. In particular, unique changes in caffeine and gallate levels were observed during tea fermentation, which caffeine and gallate levels have been shown to vary after tea fermentation among many reports to date. This study highlights that metabolomics with global profiling and a highly reliable and reproducible 1H NMR spectroscopic data set can provide a better understanding of unique changes in tea metabolites during tea fermentation.