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Uncover Epimers in Natural Extract Analysis

The Objective

To demonstrate the utility of High-Resolution Ion Mobility (HRIM) to separate known epimers in green tea extracts.

The Challenge

Green tea is a beverage of broad interest due in large part to the presence of polyphenols in the leaves of Camellia sinensis. 

The beneficial effects of green tea are attributed to the presence of number catechins, including non-esterified (+)-catechin (C), (-)-epicatechin (EC), (-)-gallocatechin (GC) and (-)-epigallocatechin (EGC) and the esterified (-)-catechin gallate (CG), (-)-gallocatechin gallate (GCG), (-)-epi- catechin gallate (ECG) and (-)-epigallocatechin gallate (EGCG).2 The four catechins that account for the majority of the components of green tea include EGCG, ECG, EGC, and EC with the potential of conversion to the non-epimeric forms during tea leave processing.3,4 As a result, it is necessary to evaluate epimerization during various physical processing to improve the nutritional value of green tea products. Although the catechin profile in green tea has been extensively studied, method agnostic characterization of the full catechin profile remains limited, representing a shortcoming in the study of health benefits of various epimers and processing impacts on epimerization.

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