Ocimum Antioxidant Tea Case Study

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Abstract: Ocimum blend/flavourant tea is most consumable breakfast beverage in India. It is very popular tea flavouring herb Ocimum sanctum known as "Tulsi" or "Holy Basil" in India, along with seven other species/cultivar dried under shed and in a natural convention cabinet drier at 40C, with various blanching treatments. Thermal (Deep freeze- liq. N2, dry-hot air and wet heat-boil H2O) and chemical (NaCl, NaHCO3 and CaOCl2) treatments studied for their effect on optimum antioxidant potential. The abundance of antioxidant constituents varied in different Ocimum spp/cultivars and follows the order- Caffeic acid (CA) and rosmarinic acid (RA) in O. sanctum-CIM Ayu (OSAy) and rutin in O. gratissimum [OG]. Blanching treatments severely degraded all the three major Ocimum phenolics. Surprisingly 77% increased CA content, observed in O. kilimandscharicum (OK) leaves when bleached with CaOCl2. Similarly, 14% & 18% higher content of RA detected in OK when treated with wet heat (boiled H2O), dry heat (hot air) and deep freeze (liq. N2), respectively. Thermal and chemical blanching treatment drastically deteriorated the antioxidant potential (TPC, RC and FRSA) of Ocimum species except in OK. Blanching the herb by quick dip in boiled H2O followed by indirect hot air drying reduced the loss of green color as observed normally when dried under shed without any pre-treatment. The drying rate as well as behavior of the Ocimum not affected by blanching treatments. The findings from our

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