The green coloring is the first characteristic in mate tea (chimarrão). Mate producers perform the sapeco process by rapidly passing the leaves through flames. It has been proven that this procedure leads to high energy consumption and also to excessive exposure of the raw material to heat. In this present work, the effect of sapeco on the inactivation of peroxidase, the color, and degradation of the chlorophyll in mate was evaluated by performing the sapeco procedure in a conveyor oven, without any direct contact with the flames. The mate processed in a conveyor oven was compared with mate processed in mate factories. Inactivation of peroxidase showed that sapeco performed in a conveyor oven at 255 ºC for 20 s can replace the traditional process of the industrial sapeco. This time/temperature binomial is significantly important for the green coloring and the minimization of chlorophyll degradation, besides representing a significant reduction in the temperature traditionally applied in the industrial sapeco of mate.
We studied the use of mild processing to achieve the same characteristics of the mate tea produced in traditional high temperature processing.