Benefits of Purple Tea
Currently, Kenya produces and exports over 96% of the tea as black teas. The tea is sold to the world market in bulk and hence is largely used for blending lower quality teas from other countries. Consequently, it fetches low prices and therefore depressed revenue for tea growers in particular and low foreign exchange for the country in general.
A strategic approach is to diversify and add value to the tea products for the domestic and international markets. In this connection, the Tea Research Foundation of Kenya has pre-released a purple tea variety, Purple Tea for commercial utilization targeting a unique tea product - anthocyanin-rich tea. This clone has been under development for the last 25 years and further works on the composition and antioxidant value of anthocyanins in it are still in progress.
The cultivar has been pre-released in response to the government’s vision 2030 and Medium-Term Plan 2008-2012 (MTP), targeting new tea products diversification and value addition in order to enhance productivity of teas as well as to boost economic growth in the agricultural sector. Anthocyanins are diverse flavonoids and are soluble in water. They are also powerful antioxidants and have health enhancing properties.
Anthocyanin supplements (proanthocyanins) are widely marketed for their health enhancing properties. Anthocyanins are also widely used as preservatives especially in the food industry. The new tea variety that is rich in anthocyanins will provide an alternative raw material from which these flavonoids can be extracted.
The other products that can be produced from the purple tea leaf and which the Foundation’s scientists are researching on, include extracted catechins, anthocyanins, anthocyanidinins (which are used as drug supplements, preservatives and other industrial uses), tea polyphenol extracts for pharmacological and industrial uses, manufacture of instant teas, Ready To Drink (RTD) tea, and other fast moving consumer goods such as health care products, foods and confectioneries.
The chemical features of Kenyan Purple Tea (TRFK 306-1) which separchemical features of Kenyan Purple Tea (TRFK 306-1) which separate it from all other teas; specifically GHG discovered by an Asian Research firm separates purple tea from all other teas. Purple Tea is derived from Camellia sinesis and is intended to support healthy weight, cholesterol, blood glucose levels. GHG extract contains 50% polyphenols, almost 10% EGCG, 1.5% anthocyanins and 7.4% GHG. It has only 4–5% caffeine.
According to a human trial study by a Japanese firm, Purple tea/extract (PTE) is the only tea containing GHG.
PURPLE TEA AND ITS EXTRACT SUPPRESS DIET-INDUCED FAT ACCUMULATION IN MICE AND HUMAN SUBJECTS BY INHIBITING FAT ABSORPTION AND ENHANCING HEPATIC CARNITINE PALYITOYLTRANSFERASE EXPRESSION
*Authors: Hiroshi Shimoda (1), Shoketsu HItoe (1),
Seikou Nakamura (2), Hisashi Matsuda (2)
(1) Research & Development Division, Japanese Group.,1 Numata, Kitagata-cho, Ichinomiya, Aichi 493-8001, Japan;(2) Kyoto Pharmaceutical University, 1 Shichono-cho, Misasagi, Yamashina-ku, Kyoto 607-8412, Japan
"Purple tea is a variety of Camellia Sinensis developed by the Tea Research Foundation of Kenya (TRFK) and is currently cultivated in Kenya. Purple tea leaves are processed by the same method used to process green tea. In addition to the usual polyphenolic compounds found in green tea, such as epigallocatechin gallate (EGCG), purple tea is unique in that it also contains anthocyanidins (malvidin, peralgonodin and cyanidin 3-O-galactoside) and 1,2-di-O-galloyl-4,6-O-(S)-hexahydroxydiphenoyl. -pb-D-glucose (GHG), a hydrolysable tannin.
Purple tea also differs from other varieties of Camellia Sinensis in its caffeine content, which is relatively lower in comparison to green tea.
Hence, the HPLC chromatogram of purple tea differs from green and black tea."
Source: International Journal of BIomedical Science (IJBS)
Copyright: (c) 2015 Hiroshi Shimoda et al. This is an open-access article distributed under the terms of the Creative Commons Attribution License (http://creativecommons.org/licenses/by/2.5) which permits unrestricted use, distribution, and reproduction in any medium, provided the original author and source are cited.
Note: PURPLE TEA and WHITE TEA have similar attributes; the one HUGE difference is that White Tea is far too expensive vs Purple Tea.