From New Orleans, at a meeting of the American Chemical Society
Some nutritionists have suggested that matcha, the green tea prepared during Japanese tea ceremonies, might offer more health benefits than the green tea most people drink in the United States. Until now, however, there was little scientific evidence to support this hunch.
For years, studies have indicated that the antioxidants in green tea offer protection against diseases, including cancer, and even fight dental cavities. One of the most beneficial of these antioxidants is called epigallocatechin gallate. At the University of Colorado at Colorado Springs, sophomore Christopher R. Anderton and chemistry professor David J. Weiss used the chemical separation technique known as micellar electrokinetic chromatography to analyze matcha and a green tea commonly available in U.S. markets.
The researchers found that samples of matcha had 200 times the concentration of epigallocatechin gallate in the common U.S. tea.
Although most green teas are prepared in the familiar way–by steeping leaves in water–matcha is prepared by mixing hot water with powdered leaves. This is probably why matcha contains so much epigallocatechin gallate, says Weiss. If other green teas were also prepared from powdered leaves, he says, they might offer tea drinkers more of the beneficial compound.
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