Pectin in Green Tea

pectin in green teaPectin is a polysaccharide commonly found in the cell walls of plants. It is a type of water-soluble dietary fiber.

In the food industry it’s used as a gelling agent. Jelly and jam are the main products that require this compound.

Pears, apples, plums and citrus fruits have a high amount of pectin.

According to the Nihoncha Instructor textbook volume II, the pectin content by weight in sencha can vary from 0.7% to 2%.

Pectin and the taste of tea

Although pectin is tasteless, it has an impact in the taste of tea.

Previously, research had shown that a solution made with the same type and amount of catechins of a tea infusion would be much more astringent than the taste observed in the original tea infusion.

Catechins are a source of bitterness and astringency in tea, so there is some other compound in tea that lowers this astringency.

It turns out that pectin is responsible for the lower astringency in tea. It does so for the gallate-type catechins EGCG and ECG.

The reason why fukamushi sencha is less astringent

Increasing the steaming time of a green tea also increases the pectin content in the infusion because it dissolves at a higher rate.

That’s why fukamushi sencha (a deep-steamed green tea) has a lower astringency than normal sencha.

Because of the lower astringency, one feels an increase in the sweetness and body of a green tea.

Finally, gyokuro and sencha contain more pectin than teas such as bancha and houjicha.

Sources:

Reduction of Catechin Astringency by the Complexation of Gallate-Type Catechins with Pectin

The Relationship Between Steaming Time and Composition of Chemical Constituents in Infusion of Green Tea

2 Comments

  1. Noli Ergas
    November 20, 2020

    Another great article! I know from experience that Fukamushicha is lower in astringency than normal Sencha, but I never knew why. Now I do!

    Reply
    1. Ricardo Caicedo
      November 20, 2020

      Hi Noli, nice to see you comment on the blog again.

      Reply

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