Production of decaffeinated green tea leaves using liquefied dimethyl ether
Author: Hideki Kanda and Peng Li and Hisao Makino
We developed a new technique for green tea decaffeination involving ingredient extraction and drying of green tea leaves by using liquefied dimethyl ether (DME) as a safe extraction solvent. After hot water extraction with water content of 74.6–76.2%, green tea leaves were tested to verify the DME extraction in both laboratory- and bench-scale processes. The distributions of caffeine and catechins in the extracted residue, organic extracts, and removed water were tested by high-performance liquid chromatography. Caffeine was completely removed from the green tea leaves. Approximately 25.2–56.0% of catechins remained in the residue after DME extraction. In particular, 56.0% of epigallocatechin gallate, which has the greatest activity of all catechins remained in the residue.