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Keywords:

  • Catechin;
  • CeCl3;
  • hydrogen peroxide;
  • polyphenol measurement;
  • turbidimetric method

Summary

We have developed a simple and rapid turbidimetric method to determine catechins based on the fact that many polyphenols produce hydrogen peroxide in an alkaline environment and that hydrogen peroxide oxidises cerium to generate cerium oxide precipitates. Four catechins (epicatechin, epigallocatechin, epicatechin gallate, epigallocatechin gallate) aggregated with these precipitates to form massive precipitates with increased turbidity. The catechins solution (0.18 mL) was mixed with 0.02 mL of 1% CeCl3 solution, and absorbance (650 nm) was measured immediately after agitation for 3 min using a spectrophotometer. Absorbance was strongly correlated (0.99) with the concentration of each catechin compound. For commercially bottled green tea, the estimated catechin content determined using this turbidimetric method showed better correlation with the content determined by high-performance liquid chromatography than that determined using ferrous tartrate method, which is the official Japanese method for determining the tannin content of green tea.