The relationship between some chemical parameters and sensory evaluations for plain black tea (Camellia sinensis) produced in Kenya and comparison with similar teas from Malawi and South Africa
Tea Research Foundation of Kenya, P.O. Box 820, Kericho, Kenya; Tea Research Foundation (Central Africa), P.O. Box 51, Mulanje, Malawi; Department of Biochemistry, University of Pretoria, Pretoria 0002, South Africa; Department of Chemistry, Maseno University, P.O. Box 333-40105, Maseno, Kenya; Department of Botany and Horticulture, Maseno Univeristy, P.O. Box 333-40105, Maseno, Kenya
Reliable and accurately measurable chemical parameters that can be used to estimate black tea quality are desirable in trade, research and breeding programmes. Using plain Kenyan black tea from 11 cultivars, which gave some significant differences in their plain black tea quality parameters, the individual theaflavins composition, total theaflavins, thearubigins, theaflavin digallate equivalent, total colour and brightness were determined. The parameters were regressed against sensory evaluation scores of two tasters A and B. The theaflavin digallate equivalent (TDE) showed the strongest relationship (r = 0.71 (P ≤ 0.01) and r = 0.80 (P ≤ 0.001)) for A and B′, respectively. The simple (non gallated) theaflavin and thearubigins did not show significant relationships with sensory evaluation. Of the liquor characteristics, there were significant relationships between liquor brightness and sensory evaluation by A and B (r = 0.58 (P ≤ 0.06) and r = 0.59 (P ≤ 0.05)), respectively. In consequence, TDE and brightness can be used in tea breeding programmes as quality indicators or to estimate plain black tea quality potential in the tea trade. Optimising their levels can also help to produce good quality Kenyan black teas during processing. Comparison of these results with work published earlier indicates that, of the individual theaflavins, theaflavin-3,3′-digallate correlates best with tea taster scores for the 11 Kenyan cultivars, whereas the simple theaflavin correlates best with tea tasters' scores for 40 Malawian cultivars. However, the derived parameter, TDE correlates very well with tea tasters' scores for all of the above cultivars. © 2005 Elsevier Ltd. All rights reserved.
black tea extract; theaflavin; article; chemical parameters; chemical structure; food composition; food quality; Kenya; Malawi; sensory evaluation; South Africa; tea; Camellia sinensis