Institute of Fruit Tree and Tea Science, NARO

Tea Chemistry and Health Benefits Unit

The book Kissayojoki (Drink Tea and Prolong Life, A Note on Drinking Green Tea for Good Health) of a Buddhist priest in the early Kamakura period is a chronicle of the utility of tea and infers that tea has been known as a food that maintains and promotes health. In recent years, tea ingredients such as catechins have been clarified as effective for maintaining health, and tea functional research is done progressively all over the world. At the Kanaya Tea Research Station, we have elucidated the allergy suppressing effect of tea cultivar 'Benifuuki' and developed products utilizing it. Recently, we found the tea cultivars 'Soufuu' and 'Saemidori' contain a high quercetin content, which is known as a functional ingredient of bulb onion. In this unit, we are working on elucidation of functionalities and development of their utilization based on the advantages of tea research institutions that preserve large collections of tea cultivars and varieties. Also tea is one of luxury item, since difference in price related to quality is very large, objective assessment of quality is important. At the Kanaya Tea Research Station, since the study about the total nitrogen content in the tea leaves reflects the quality, we are continuing the research about the relationship between chemical components and quality including flavor or color. In recent years, we have developed methods for evaluating the taste of tea using a taste sensor. We are also focusing on research on tea aroma to clarify the difference in quality depending on variety and locality. In addition, we are also working on characterizing Japanese green tea while comparing it with tea produced overseas in order to cope up with the overseas exports of Japanese tea.


Unit Leader

Unit Members




NOMURA Sachiko