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Reactivity of green tea catechins with formaldehyde


In the reaction of green tea catechins with formaldehyde at room temperature (25°C), tea catechins were found to have reactivity. In particular, (-)-epicatechin gallate and (-)-epigallocatechin gallate, which have a galloyl moiety at the C-3 position, showed higher reactivity than (+)-catechin, (-)-epicatechin, or (-)-epigallocatechin. Reactivity of various kinds of simple phenolic compounds and flavonoids with formaldehyde was also examined. Among these compounds, only phloroglucinol showed reactivity to the same degree as that of nongalloylated catechins. These results suggest that factors for reactivity with formaldehyde at room temperature may be the presence of a phloroglucinolic A-ring structure and the absence of the electron-attractive group such as a carbonyl group in Cring. The comparison of the reactivity of 3-O-acylated catechins with that of 3-O-galloylated catechins indicated that only a galloyl group effectively enhanced reactivity with formaldehyde.


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Correspondence to Fumio Nanjo.

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Takagaki, A., Fukai, K., Nanjo, F. et al. Reactivity of green tea catechins with formaldehyde. J Wood Sci 46, 334–338 (2000).

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Key words

  • Tea catechins
  • Formaldehyde
  • Flavonoid
  • Volatile organic compounds (VOC)
  • Formaldehyde scavenger