Trace metal contents (Al, Cu and Zn) of tea: Tea and soil from two tea plantations, and tea products from different provinces of China

Ming Hung WONG, Z. Q. ZHANG, J. W. C. WONG, C. Y. LAN

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Abstract

The present project aims to investigate the possible contamination of teas with the trace metals: Al, Cu and Zn. Tea bushes sampled from two tea plantations in the northern part of Guangdong Province accumulated higher concentrations of Cu and Zn in young leaves, and of Al in old leaves. The analysis of the three metals in tea produced in different provinces indicated higher Al levels in those obtained from Guangdong and Yunnan Provinces, which may be due to the lower soil pH in these areas. Green tea had the lowest Al concentration among the four types of tea studied, as only the bud and two young leaves are used, whereas older leaves are used to other types of tea (black, Oolong and Puerh tea). The transfer of Al, Cu and Zn from soil to different parts of tea bushes was low in general, except for Zn at Lechang tea plantation whic next to a Pb/Zn mine, where a higher transfer was observed from young leaves to tea products, indicating possible metal contamination during tea processing. However, low concentrations of Cu and Zn (less than 0.07 mg Cu L-1 and 0.17 mg Zn L-1), and moderate amounts of Al (2.1-2.5 mg L-1) were obtained in the tea liquor (1% hot water extracts). Copyright © 1998 Chapman & Hall.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)87-94
JournalEnvironmental Geochemistry and Health
Volume20
Issue number2
DOIs
Publication statusPublished - Jun 1998

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Trace metals
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Contamination
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Citation

Wong, M. H., Zhang, Z. Q., Wong, J. W. C., & Lan, C. Y. (1998). Trace metal contents (Al, Cu and Zn) of tea: Tea and soil from two tea plantations, and tea products from different provinces of China. Environmental Geochemistry and Health, 20(2), 87-94. doi: 10.1023/A:1006545825302

Keywords

  • Trace metals
  • Aluminium copper
  • Zinc
  • Tea
  • Infusion
  • PR China