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Discovery and Targeted Isolation of Phenylpropanoid-Substituted Ester-Catechins Using UPLC-Q/TOF-HRMS/MS-Based Molecular Networks: Implication of the Reaction Mechanism among Polyphenols during Green Tea Processing

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posted on 2021-04-13, 18:33 authored by Peng Zhang, Jia-Ping Ke, Chen-Hui Chen, Zi Yang, Xue Zhou, Xiao-Huan Liu, Feng-Lin Hu, Guan-Hu Bao
Tea is an important beverage source of dietary polyphenols and well known for containing phenolic structure diversity. A series of phenylpropanoid-substituted catechins, flavonols, flavan-3-hexoside, and proanthocyanidin are present in different herbs with various biological activities, inspiring our exploration of phenylpropanoid-substituted ester type of catechins (PSECs) due to the enrichment of galloylated catechins in tea. In this study, we used a guiding–screening–location–isolation integrated route including creating a hypothesized PSEC dataset, MS/MS data acquiring, construction of molecular networks, and traditional column chromatography and preliminarily identified 14 PSECs by MS/MS spectrum. Two of these PSECs were further purified and elucidated by NMR and CD spectra. Further MS detection in tea products and fresh leaves suggests that the production of the two new compounds was enhanced during tea processing. The synthesis mechanism was proposed to obtain these types of components for further investigation on their roles in human health protection. This study provides an example for the exploration of new functional ingredients from food sources guided by MS/MS data-based networking, and also new insights into the reaction mechanism to form new catechin conjugates among polyphenols in green tea.

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