Rooibos herbal tea: An optimal cup and its consumers
Background: Rooibos types and forms and how prepared and flavoured influence the total polyphenol content and total antioxidant capacity (TAC).
Aim: To denote an optimal rooibos cup as having the highest total polyphenol content and TAC, considering the different types, forms, preparation methods and flavourings and amounts (Phase 1), and determine the demographic, lifestyle and rooibos consumption characteristics of adult rooibos consumers, and the association of these characteristics with drinking the optimal cup (Phase 2).
Setting: Assays: Oxidative Stress Research Centre, Cape Peninsula University of Technology; Consumer survey: George area, South Africa.
Method: Phase 1 entailed determining the total polyphenol content (Folin–Ciocalteau method) and TAC (Trolox equivalent antioxidant capacity and ferric-reducing antioxidant power assay) of the prepared rooibos samples. For Phase 2, a developed, pilot tested questionnaire was used to profile adult rooibos consumers.
Results: Phase 1: the following samples delivered higher total polyphenol content and TAC: green (type), green leaves and powdered extract (forms), and sample steeped for 10 min or longer (preparation method). The identified optimal cup was sample steeped for 10 min or longer. Phase 2: a total of 308 respondents completed the questionnaire. Few consumed more than one rooibos cup per day (25.3%; n = 78) and the optimal cup (15.9%; n = 49). These latter respondents comprised those who steeped rooibos in a teapot (not a cup or mug) ( p < 0.05).
Conclusions: The optimal cup was identified as sample steeped for 10 min or longer. The rooibos consumers did not consume it sufficiently, nor steeped it long enough.
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