Tea: Production, Composition, Consumption and its Potential as an Antioxidant and Antimicrobial Agent
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Tea is the most common beverage consumed after water. It is brewed from the leaves of Camellia sinensis (family: Theaceae). Different types of tea manufactured are: oolong, green, black and Ilex tea depending on the post-harvest treatment and palatability of a particular region. Being rich in natural antioxidants, tea is reported to be effective against colon, oesophageal, and lung cancers, as well as urinary stone, dental caries, etc. Tea found to be anticariogenic, anti-microbial, anti-inflammatory, anti-carcinogenic, anti-oxidant can be used as an effective preventive agent. Healthy Foods’ containing active scavengers of free radicals are very popular nowadays. The chiefly chemical components of green tea include polyphenols, caffeine and amino acids. Tea also contains flavonoids compounds reported to have anti-oxidant properties having many beneficial effects. It is widely accepted that phenolic compounds of certain foods have potential health benefits. Tea is linked to beneficial effects on human health with the polyphenols as the responsible constituents. India is one of the largest tea-producing, exporting and consuming country. The present review focuses on the production, composition and the beneficial effects of tea consumption on human health.
Tea, Health, Polyphenols, Free radical, oolong, green tea, black tea, ilex tea, white tea.