Tap or bottled? Water composition impacts health benefits of tea

January 14, 2019

ITHACA, N.Y. - Here's to sipping a cupful of health: Green tea steeped in bottled water has a more bitter taste, but it has more antioxidants than tea brewed using tap water, according to new Cornell University food science research published in Nutrients.

In tests conducted at Cornell's Sensory Evaluation Center, consumers liked green tea brewed using tap water more than using bottled water, because it produced a sweeter taste. "But, when steeped in bottled water, the green tea contained about double the amount of the antioxidant epigallocatechin gallate (EGCG) - which makes it more bitter than tea brewed with tap water," said Robin Dando, Cornell associate professor of food science.

"If you're drinking green tea for its health properties, you should be using bottled water," Dando said. "If you're drinking tea for taste, tap water is better."

A panel of more than 100 consumers could not taste the difference between black tea brewed with either tap or bottled water.

"The average consumer for black tea isn't able to tell the difference. Whether it was tap water or bottled water, the taste differences are too subtle," said graduate student Melanie Franks, the study's lead author. Franks is a tea specialist who once taught chefs at the International Culinary Institute (formerly known as the French Culinary Institute, founded by the late Julia Child).

Dando believes the normal, everyday minerals in tap water - such as calcium, iron, magnesium, sodium and copper - are the products that result in lower levels of EGCG in green tea.

"Bottled water - where calcium or magnesium have been filtered out and where the iron concentration is brought down a notch - is able to extract the EGCG more efficiently," said Dando. "With purer water, you get more health benefits out of the tea."
-end-
In addition to Franks and Dando, co-authors of the study, "The Influence of Water Composition on Flavor and Nutrient Extraction in Green and Black Tea," were Peter Lawrence, Cornell research support specialist; and Alireza Abbaspourrad, Cornell's Yongkeun Joh Assistant Professor of Food Chemistry and Ingredient Technology. Cornell funded the research.

Cornell University has dedicated television and audio studios available for media interviews supporting full HD, ISDN and web-based platforms.

Cornell University

Related Consumers Articles from Brightsurf:

When consumers trust AI recommendations--or resist them
The key factor in deciding how to incorporate AI recommenders is whether consumers are focused on the functional and practical aspects of a product (its utilitarian value) or on the experiential and sensory aspects of a product (its hedonic value).

Do consumers enjoy events more when commenting on them?
Generating content increases people's enjoyment of positive experiences.

Why consumers think pretty food is healthier
People tend to think that pretty-looking food is healthier (e.g., more nutrients, less fat) and more natural (e.g., purer, less processed) than ugly-looking versions of the same food.

How consumers responded to COVID-19
The coronavirus pandemic has been a catalyst for laying out the different threats that consumers face, and that consumers must prepare themselves for a constantly shifting landscape moving forward.

Is less more? How consumers view sustainability claims
Communicating a product's reduced negative attribute might have unintended consequences if consumers approach it with the wrong mindset.

In the sharing economy, consumers see themselves as helpers
Whether you use a taxi or a rideshare app like Uber, you're still going to get a driver who will take you to your destination.

Helping consumers in a crisis
A new study shows that the central bank tool known as quantitative easing helped consumers substantially during the last big economic downturn -- a finding with clear relevance for today's pandemic-hit economy.

'Locally grown' broccoli looks, tastes better to consumers
In tests, consumers in upstate New York were willing to pay more for broccoli grown in New York when they knew where it came from, Cornell University researchers found.

Should patients be considered consumers?
No, and doing so can undermine efforts to promote patient-centered health care, write three Hastings Center scholars in the March issue of Health Affairs.

Consumers choose smartphones mostly because of their appearance
The more attractive the image and design of the telephone, the stronger the emotional relationship that consumers are going to have with the product, which is a clear influence on their purchasing decision.

Read More: Consumers News and Consumers Current Events
Brightsurf.com is a participant in the Amazon Services LLC Associates Program, an affiliate advertising program designed to provide a means for sites to earn advertising fees by advertising and linking to Amazon.com.