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“Bitter Citrus Tzen Tea” Introducing a New Trend in Healthy Drinks for Modern People

Source:2020-9/18/Center for Global Affairs and Science Engagement

The bitter Pu-erh tea and the Hakka sour citrus tea are the traditional tea drinks to expel the cold. The Academia Industry Alliance for Tea Production, chaired by Professor Jason T. C. Tzen of the Graduate Institute of Biotechnology of National Chung Hsing University (NCHU), has been examining and analyzing the two types of tea drinks, and found four effective ingredients: theacrine, strictinin, hesperidin and narirutin. Mixing the ingredients on the basis of Taiwan Sijichun Tzen Tea, Bitter Citrus Tzen Tea was developed and exported with a slightly better but perceptibly mellow umami taste. A presentation was held at National Chung Hsing University on September 7, 2020.

With the support for 6 consecutive years from the Ministry of Science and Technology (MOST), the Academia Industry Alliance for Tea Production focused on upgrading and promoting the tea industry, especially the promotion of "Tzen tea", has opened a new path for the tea industry in Taiwan. Besides, with the full support of Principal Fuh-Sheng Shieu, the alliance continued to develop basic scientific research and applied technology for tea. The alliance expects to take responsibility for Taiwan society as a whole: to innovate and upgrade, to look forward to the future, and to lead the Taiwan tea industry in a planned way.

The research team selected two kinds of tea for expelling the cold: bitter Pu-erh tea and the Hakka sour citrus tea. Using modern technology, the research team solves the mystery of ancient herbal remedy and provides modern people with a new functional food scientifically.

Professor Hsu, Wei-Li, Deputy Dean of College of Veterinary Medicine in NCHU, has tested four main ingredients of bitter Pu-erh tea, including theacrine, chlorogenic acid, caffeine (invalid control group) and strictinin (effective control group) for their inhibitory potency on flu viruses. The results show that bitter Pu-erh tea can suppress influenza A virus with strictinin and theacrine. The research data are published in the Journal of Ethnopharmacology.

After three years of cooperation, Professor Jason T. C. Tzen and a tea producer of the alliance jointly developed a brand new drink, “Bitter Citrus Tzen Tea”. They extracted the ingredients of bitter Pu-erh tea (the cold-expelling tea for Yunnan indigenous people) and Hotou Gan peels (the raw material of Hakka sour citrus tea), including theacrine, strictinin, hesperidin, narirutin and so on. Furthermore, Taiwan Sijichun Tzen Tea was incorporated to improve the flavor and smell. This new tea drink is supposed to be one of the best drinks for modern people's daily care, and the development of this tea product successfully demonstrates an academic-industry cooperation model.