Untargeted metabolomics coupled with chemometrics analysis reveals potential non-volatile markers during oolong tea shaking
Na Zhang, Tingting Jing, Mingyue Zhao, Jieyang Jin, Miaojing Xu, Yongxian Chen, Shangrui Zhang, Xiaochun Wan, Wilfried Schwab, Chuankui Song *
Food Research International
Shaking is a critical process in the formation of oolong tea quality, although the metabolites and their changes in this sensitive process have not yet been determined. In this study, untargeted analysis based on ultrahigh -performance liquid chromatography/quadrupole-Orbitrap mass spectrometry was conducted to comprehensively profile metabolite changes in different cultivars. Theanine glucoside was identified for the first time in oolong tea. Hierarchical cluster analysis indicated that shaking caused major changes in metabolite levels in oolong tea. Seventy-one, 83 and 73 potential features showed significant differences between pre- and post-shaking samples for var. sinensiscv. “Zimudan”, “Shuixian”, and “Huangmeigui,” respectively. Chemometrics analysis of the three cultivars led to the identification of 18 shared metabolites, including epigallocatechin gallate, phenylalanine, tryptophan, proline, and hydroxy-jasmonic acid, as potential markers. This study identified the metabolites that allow monitoring of tea quality formation during both processing and preservation, and it provides a novel strategy for data reduction in studies to discover key metabolites.