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Selected Publication:

Publication type: Journal Article
Document type: Full Paper

Year: 2003

Author(s): Zitterl-Eglseer, K; Chizzola, R; Franz, C

Title: Quality Control of Herbal Teas: Strange Foreign Matters in Matricaria Flower and Peppermint Leaf.

Source: Deutsche Lebensmittel-Rundschau (99) 91-96.

Authors Vetmeduni Vienna:

Chizzola Remigius
Franz Chlodwig
Zitterl-Eglseer Karin

Vetmed Research Units
Institute of Animal Nutrition and Functional Plant Compounds

Within the continual control of the quality of herbal teas and spices from the market in recent years, unusual foreign matters have sometimes been observed upon macroscopic investigation of some samples of tea-bags containing Matricaria flower or Peppermint leaf. Therefore a spot check of these herbal teas in Austria has recently been performed on tea-bags and crude drug sold in supermarkets, health food stores, tea specialist shops, chemist's shops and pharmacies according to the Codex Alimentarius Austriacus and the European Pharmacopoeia. The results of the analysed samples of Matricaria flower and Peppermint leaf showed that the essential oil content, in particular, could be regarded as a criterion for quality. High amounts of stems, foreign organs or foreign matter indirectly influenced the content on essential oil. The limits for total ash and ash insoluble in HCI were exceeded by very few samples. The unusual foreign matters mentioned were identified as pellets made up of fragments of powdered herbal drugs packed together by means of steam and high pressure in order to obtain an anticaking agent for faster production processes. Prices per 100 g of herbal tea didn't correspond with quality aspects in all cases, tea-bags being more expensive than loose products.

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