Analysis of Low Molecular Weight Metabolites in Tea Using Mass Spectrometry-Based Analytical Methods

Karl Fraser, Scott James Harrison, Geoff A. Lane, Don E. Otter, Susanne Rasmussen, Yacine Hemar, Siew-Young Quek

Research output: Contribution to journalJournal articleResearchpeer-review


Tea is the second most consumed beverage in the world after water and there are numerous reported health benefits as a result of consuming tea, such as reducing the risk of cardiovascular disease and many types of cancer. Thus, there is much interest in the chemical composition of teas, for example; defining components responsible for contributing to reported health benefits; defining quality characteristics such as product flavor; and monitoring for pesticide residues to comply with food safety import/export requirements. Covered in this review are some of the latest developments in mass spectrometry-based analytical techniques for measuring and characterizing low molecular weight components of tea, in particular primary and secondary metabolites. The methodology; more specifically the chromatography and detection mechanisms used in both targeted and non-targeted studies, and their main advantages and disadvantages are discussed. Finally, we comment on the latest techniques that are likely to have significant benefit to analysts in the future, not merely in the area of tea research, but in the analytical chemistry of low molecular weight compounds in general.
Original languageEnglish
JournalCritical Reviews in Food Science and Nutrition
Issue number7
Pages (from-to)924-937
Publication statusPublished - 2014
Externally publishedYes


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