Wednesday, September 28, 2016

Rooibos tea

Rooibos tea is referred to as a ‘tea’, but, because it doesn’t come from the same tea plant (Camellia sinensis) that gives the tea black, green, oolong, puerh and white teas, tea aficionados would call rooibos an herbal infusion or ‘tisane’ rather than a tea.

Other names of rooibos tea are: massai tea and redbush tea. The herbal tea is considered a health drink due to the presence of beneficial phenolic antioxidants. The antioxidant properties of rooibos tea were found to be similar to green, oolong, and black tea.

The production of rooibos tea, prepared from an indigenous South African shrub (Aspalathus linearis) is different from that of other herbal teas because in is the only one that is fermented.

During the fermentation, chemical changes take place as a result of the enzymes released from the leaves and their color turns to amber red.

After fermentation the rooibos tea is dried for 1 to 2 days in the sun, and finally pasteurized with steam followed hot air drying. Rooibos tea contains a unique compound, aspalathin that mimics superoxide dismutase.

Compared to BHA, BHT and α-tocopherol, aspaalthin exhibited the highest radical-scavenging activity.
Rooibos tea
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