An investigation of bisphenol A and phthalates in tea
LE3 .A278 2016
Bachelor of Science
Although tea is often considered a healthy drink, there is the possibility for it to contain a variety of unwanted compounds, such as bisphenol A (BPA) and phthalates. These compounds could be introduced during the production and transportation of the tea. BPA and phthalates are endocrine disrupting compounds, known to cause a variety of health problems, including increasing the rate of prostate and breast cancers. This project was designed to quantitate the amount of these compounds when tea was prepared in a variety of conditions, and with a variety of different brands and flavours. Tea was prepared at temperatures from 50 to 100°C and at steeping times from 1 to 30 minutes. BPA and phthalates were extracted using solid phase extractions, and quantitated using gas chromatography-mass spectroscopy. Total contaminant concentrations increased linearly with respect to both steeping time and steeping temperature, with R2values of 0.98 and 0.86, respectively. Of the different types of tea, the lowest total concentration (164±18 ng/g) was found in Jinhuacha loose leaf green tea, and the highest (500±15 ng/g) was detected in Lipton green tea. Loose leaf green teas showed lower total concentration of contaminants than bagged green teas. The highest concentrations of all compounds were found to be benzylbutylphthalate in both Lipton English breakfast and Lipton green teas with concentrations of 244±76 ng/g and 197 ±9 ng/g244±76 ng/g and 197±9 ng/g, respectively. The compounds di-n-butylphthalate, benzylbutylphthalate, and bis-2- ethylhexylphthalate were all present in concentrations of 50 ng/g or more in 3 or more samples, and contributed the most to the contamination in most types of tea.
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