Antioxidant Activity of Various Forms of Tea Remains


Antioxidant Activity of Various Forms of Tea Remains

Tea remains are one of waste product of tea industry. The tea residues in shape depend on the kinds of tea used by the factory. There are three kinds of tea remains shape, namely flour, leaves and granules. Most of the tea remains were burned, discarded as agricultural waste and used as compost1.

It has been reported that tea remains are used as poultry feed as they contain certain nutrients and bioactive compounds2. Tea remains should be fermented before it is given to poultry because tea residues have high anti-nutrients content. Fermentation is a technology to improve the quality of the feed stuff. The materials used to ferment tea dregs are Effective Microorganisms-4 (EM-4) and Trichoderma viride. Both are very effective in fermenting crude fiber3.

Crude fiber content of feed stuff decreases due to cellulose enzymes, thus the feed stuff becomes more easily digested. In general, all fermented end products usually contain simpler compounds. The simpler compounds are easier to digest and have higher nutritional value than the original ingredients.

This accounts for a new study with the objective to know the content of nutrients, bioactive compounds and antioxidant activity of different shapes of tea dregs before and after fermentation process4. The variables measured were moisture, ash, protein, fat, crude fiber, metabolizable energy, tannins, saponins, flavonoids and antioxidant activity.

The results demonstrated that the feed fermentation process has some advantages such as improving the quality, nourishment, the digestibility and preserving of the feedstuff. The fermentation process led to changes in nutrient content of tea dregs, including reduced protein and crude fiber content, increased water content, fat and energy metabolism.

It was observed that the fermentation using EM-4 and Trichoderma viride had no significant effect on the levels of fat. This was because the energy requirement of fermentation process uses more glucose derived from complex carbohydrates of tea dregs rather than that derived from fat accumulation.

It was also noticed that tea remains contained flavonoids and phytochemicals consisting of alkaloids, steroids and glycosides. All of them have antioxidant properties. The three forms of tea dregs also contain alkaloids, glycosides and steroid. The fermentation process increased the levels of flavonoids, because the microorganisms used for fermentation produce more β-glucosidase enzymes. This enzyme has an important role in the biotransformation process of secondary metabolite modification.

The implications of the study were the content of nutrients, flavonoids and antioxidant activity of tea dreg fermented are high, so tea dregs fermented can be used as poultry feed supplement. The fermentation process was able to raise the levels of water, metabolizable energy, flavonoids and antioxidant activity of tea dregs. Protein content of granules shape of tea remains which fermented by EM-4 was not decreased compare to leaves and flour of tea dregs shaped. Tea remains that will be used as feed of poultry supplement should be granules. The granules-shaped tea dregs should be fermented first by EM-4 probiotic.


  1. Krishnan, R., 2005. Effect of tea dregs (Camellia sinensis) fermentation with Aspergillus niger in broiler chickens. Indones. Anim. Vet. Sci., 10: 1-5.
  2. Dwyer, J.T. and J. Peterson, 2013. Tea and flavonoids: where we are, where to go next. J. Clin. Nutr., 98: 1611S-1618S.
  3. Waghund, R.R., R.M. Shelake and A.N. Sabalpara, 2016. Trichoderma: A significant fungus for agriculture and environment. J. Agric. Res., 11: 1952-1965.
  4. Tugiyanti, E., Susanti, E. and Sulistyawan, I.H., 2019. Effect of Tea Dregs Form and Different Fermentation Process on the Nutrient, Tannin, Saponin, flavonoid content and Antioxidant Activity. J. Nutr., 18: 25-33.