Comparison of the antioxidant potential of some herbal teas produced from ecological and traditional crops
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The growing public awareness of the dangers regarding chemicals used in traditional agriculture has led to consumers seeking valuable and contaminant-free products. Ecological agriculture has become synonymous with high health value and product safety. The aim of this study was to evaluate the antioxidant activity and the total polyphenolic content of infusions of herbal tea bags and loose teas from traditional crops, as well as infusions of loose teas from ecological crops. Raw material comprised dried flowers of Matricaria chamomilla and Tilia cordata, as well as dried leaves of Urtica dioica, Melissa officinalis and Mentha piperita. Herbal infusions were prepared using three brewing times: 5, 10 and 20 min. The analysis of antioxidant potential was performed using in vitro methods such as DPPH, ABTS and FRAP. The polyphenolic content was determined using the Folin-Ciocalteu method. The antioxidant activity of the studied tea infusion depended on the method by which the plants were cultivated and the brewing time. The ecological agriculture conditions seem not to stimulate the synthesis of antioxidants. However, the possibility to obtain other beneficial properties of the studied plants is an indication to carry out ecological cultivation.