Effects of Exogenous Enzymatic Treatment During Processing on the Sensory Quality of Summer Tieguanyin Oolong Tea from the Chinese Anxi County

Xue-Bo Zhang1,2 and Xian-Feng Du1*

1State Key Laboratory of Tea Biology and Utilization, Anhui Agricultural University, Hefei, Anhui, 230036, PR China
2National Tea Quality Supervision and Inspection Center (Fujian), Anxi, Fujian, 362400, PR China

Article history:
Received March 13, 2014
Accepted March 18, 2015

Key words
summer tieguanyin oolong tea, exogenous enzymatic treatment, laccase, α-galactosidase, sensory quality

In order to attenuate the bitter taste and improve the aroma of the summer tieguanyin oolong tea from the Chinese Anxi county, the effects of processing treatment with exogenous laccase and α-galactosidase on tea sensory quality and related compounds were investigated. The solutions of laccase and/or α-galactosidase were sprayed on the tea leaves before the first drying process. The sensory evaluation results showed that the sensory quality of the tea was significantly enhanced with the enzymatic treatment. The combined application of laccase at 8.25 and α-galactosidase at 22 U per kg of fresh tea shoots achieved the most satisfying sensory quality. Further analysis of flavour-related constituents was carried out by HPLC and GC-MS. The HPLC analysis showed that the contents of catechins and total polyphen ols were reduced, compared to the untreated group, by 11.9 and 13.3 % respectively, and the total soluble sugars and water extract content were increased by 19.4 and 6.6 % respectively, after the treatment with both enzymes. The decrease of catechins and total polyphenols reduced the bitterness and astringency of the summer tea, while the increase of total soluble sugars and water extract content improved the sweetness and mellow taste. The aromatic compound data from GC-MS showed that the total essential oil content in these tea samples co-treated with laccase and α-galactosidase increased significantly, in which aldehydes, alcohols, esters and alkenes increased by 23.28, 37.05, 20.10 and 38.99 %, respectively. Our data suggest that the exogenous enzymatic treatment can enhance the summer oolong tea quality, especially its taste and aroma.

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