The Remnant photosynthetic pigments in tea dregs: identification, composition, and potential use as antibacterial photosensitizer
Keywords:antimicrobial photosensitization, chlorophyll, pigments, tea dregs
The production of tea dregs is continually increasing along with the growth of people's interest in ready-to-drink beverages. However, the recent development of research on the use of tea dregs is still very limited. The present study was aimed to identify the remnant photosynthetic pigments in tea dregs, determine their composition, and evaluate their potential use as natural antibacterial agents based on light-induced reaction (photosensitization). The tea dregs from six commercial teas, consisting of green and black teas, were analyzed using high-performance liquid chromatography (HPLC) with a photodiode array detector, and the spectroscopic data were analyzed from 350 to 700 nm. Pigment identification was performed based on spectral characteristics, and pigment composition in the extracts from the dregs was determined by a three-dimensional multi-chromatogram analysis method. The dominant pigment fractions in both tea types were pheophytin a and its isomers, as well as pheophytin b. Although the dregs of black teas generally contain fewer remnant pigments, they possess residual chlorophyll b, which is not found in the dregs of green teas. In thirty-minutes illumination under 50 W red light-emitting diode, the presence of pigments from tea dregs caused up to 0.87 and 0.35 log reduction of Staphylococcus aureus and Escherichia coli, respectively. The disparity of pigments composition among tea types does not strongly influence their photosensitization activity against both bacteria. Hence, upon further application, the amount of total remnant pigments in the dregs could be taken as substantial consideration instead of tea types.
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