FOOD SCIENCE ›› 2021, Vol. 42 ›› Issue (17): 255-266.doi: 10.7506/spkx1002-6630-20200708-106

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Pyrrolizidine Alkaloids in Tea: A Review of Analytical Methods, Contamination Levels and Health Risk

HAN Haolei, JIANG Changling, WANG Chen, LIU Xin, LU Chengyin, CHEN Hongping   

  1. (1. Tea Research Institute, Chinese Academy of Agricultural Sciences, Hangzhou 310008, China; 2. Graduate School of Chinese Academy of Agricultural Sciences, Beijing 100081, China; 3. Laboratory of Quality and Safety Risk Assessment for Tea Products, Ministry of Agriculture and Rural Affairs, Hangzhou 310008, China)
  • Published:2021-09-29

Abstract: Pyrrolizidine alkaloids (PAs) are a class of plantsecondary metabolites, and unsaturated PAs and most pyrrolizidine alkaloid N-oxides (PANOs) have multiple toxic effects. PAs have been found widely in various kinds of tea samples, and have become one of the major contaminants hindering China’s tea export. This paper reviews the development of sample pretreatment methods for chromatographic-mass spectrometric detection of PAs in tea, and presents an outlook on future trends. Next, it summarizes the levels of PAs pollution in tea from different countries, and analyzes the types of PAs in tea, the occurrance of PAs in different teas, and the differences in PAs between tea and other foods or agricultural products. Finally, discusses the health risk of PAs in tea. Studies to monitor PAs pollution levels in tea and assess the health risk of PAs in tea are currently lacking in China. Therefore, it is urgent to clarify the source of PAs pollution in tea and assess the health risk of PAs in tea.

Key words: pyrrolizidine alkaloids; tea; analytical methods; contamination levels; health risks

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