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ABSTRACT

The objective of the current study was to determine how flavor changes in green teas that are stored over a period of 2 years (a commonly noted shelf life for green tea products in loose leaf form). Two Korean green teas were packaged in metalized multilayer polyethylene films and stored at an ambient temperature of20C. Both green tea samples were evaluated by six highly trained descriptive panelists at 3, 6, 12, 18 and 24 months after their original packaging dates. The intensity of the major attributes changed minimally among the samples as they were evaluated over the 2-year period. The green tea samples that were stored for 6 months did not change, up to 12 months they changed little, and after 12 months the samples sometimes developed low levels of off-flavors such as medicinal, musty/new leather or grain flavors, or they became higher in characteristics such as tooth-etch. Overall, the findings of this study indicate that green tea will change minimally during the first year of storage and will change slightly more during the second of 2 years of storage. However, these changes appear to be minimal when the samples are packaged in metalized multilayer polyethylene films.

PRACTICAL APPLICATIONS

This research provides the first evidence that, even though the flavors of green tea may change, the change will be minimal during the first 1–2 years of storage in metalized multilayer polyethylene films. This research indicates that green tea leaves do have an extended storage time, at least in terms of sensory quality, and can be held for extended periods of time at room temperature.