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Effects of Epigallocatechin Gallate on the Stability of Epicatechin in a Photolytic Process

Department of Science Education and Application, National Taichung University of Education, Taichung 40306, Taiwan
Department of Biotechnology, Ming-Chuan University, Gui-Shan 33343, Taiwan
Tea Research and Extension Station, Taoyuan 32654, Taiwan
Department of Horticulture and Landscape Architecture, National Taiwan University, Taipei 10617, Taiwan
Authors to whom correspondence should be addressed.
Academic Editor: Eduardo Sobarzo-Sánchez
Molecules 2019, 24(4), 787;
Received: 14 January 2019 / Revised: 11 February 2019 / Accepted: 19 February 2019 / Published: 22 February 2019
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Tea Chemistry)
PDF [2862 KB, uploaded 22 February 2019]


Catechins belonging to polyhydroxylated polyphenols are the primary compounds found in green tea. They are associated with many physiological properties. Epicatechin (EC) is a non-gallate-type catechin with four phenolic hydroxyl groups attached. The changes in EC treated with color light illumination in an alkaline condition were investigated by chromatographic and mass analyses in this study. In particular, the superoxide anion radical (O2) was investigated during the EC photolytic process. EC is unstable under blue light illumination in an alkaline solution. When EC was treated with blue light illumination in an alkaline solution, O2 was found to occur via a photosensitive redox reaction. In addition, the generation of monomeric, dimeric, and trimeric compounds is investigated. On the other hand, epigallocatechin gallate (EGCG), which is a gallate-type catechin, is stable under blue light illumination in an alkaline solution. Adding EGCG, during the blue light illumination treatment of EC decreased photolytic formation, suggesting that gallate-type catechins can suppress the photosensitive oxidation of EC. Gallate-type catechins are formed via the esterification of non-gallate-type catechins and gallic acid (GA). The carbonyl group on the gallate moiety of gallate-type catechins appears to exhibit its effect on the stability against the photosensitive oxidation caused by blue light illumination. View Full-Text
Keywords: blue light; catechin; epicatechin; EGCG; gallic acid blue light; catechin; epicatechin; EGCG; gallic acid

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This is an open access article distributed under the Creative Commons Attribution License which permits unrestricted use, distribution, and reproduction in any medium, provided the original work is properly cited (CC BY 4.0).

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Huang, S.-T.; Hung, Y.-A.; Yang, M.-J.; Chen, I.-Z.; Yuann, J.-M.P.; Liang, J.-Y. Effects of Epigallocatechin Gallate on the Stability of Epicatechin in a Photolytic Process. Molecules 2019, 24, 787.

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