Analysis of Tea Samples with a Multisensor System
and Capillary Electrophoresis
I. S. Papieva
, D. O. Kirsanov
, A. V. Legin
, L. A. Kartsova
, A. V. Alekseeva
Yu. G. Vlasov
, N. Bhattacharyya
, S. Sarkar
, and R. Bandyopadkhyay
St. Petersburg State University, St. Petersburg, Russia
Analytical Spectrometry Limited Liability Company, St. Petersburg, Russia
Center for Development of Modern Calculations, Kolkata, India
Jadavpur University, Kolkata, India
Received January 17, 2011
Abstract—Potential of an “electronic tongue” multisensor system in identification of various tea samples and
in quantitative analysis of separate tea components was studied. As a reference method for quantitative analysis
of antioxidants of the polyphenolic type served micellar electrokinetic chromatography with a UV detector. The
contents of epicatechin gallate, epigallocatechin gallate, epicatechin, epigallocatechin, gallic acid, gallocatechin
gallate, and caffeine alkaloid in various tea samples were quantitatively estimated.
OF SYSTEMS AND PROCESSES
ISSN 1070-4272, Russian Journal of Applied Chemistry, 2011, Vol. 84, No. 6, pp. 964–971. © Pleiades Publishing, Ltd., 2011.
Original Russian Text © I.S. Papieva, D.O. Kirsanov, A.V. Legin, L.A. Kartsova, A.V. Alekseeva, Yu.G. Vlasov, N. Bhattacharyya, S. Sarkar,
R. Bandyopadkhyay, 2011, published in Zhurnal Prikladnoi Khimii, 2011, Vol. 84, No. 6, pp. 940–947.
It is known that tea is a natural source of strong
antioxidants because it contains polyphenols. These
compounds exhibit antitumor, antibacterial, and anti-
inflammation effect, thereby precluding development
of numerous diseases .
Polyphenols are contained in many food
substances: vegetables, fruits, wine, tea, coffee, and
cacao. The main polyphenols contained in tea are
listed in Table 1 . The problem of formation,
conversion, and accumulation conditions of phenolic
compounds is the central issue in the biochemistry and
physiology of tea, because just these compounds are
responsible for its most valuable properties. It is
apparent that the content of polyphenols in tea should
be monitored because this parameter is a criterion of
its quality [3, 4].
Polyphenolic compounds are mainly determined in
samples of varied nature by spectroscopic methods 
providing information about the total content of
polyphenols, and also chromatographic [6–8] and
electrophoretic techniques [9–11] making it possible to
obtain characteristic profiles of real objects and
perform their quantitative analysis.
It should be noted, however, that, on the whole, the
analytical methods presently employed for these
purposes have, despite ensuring a high precision of
analysis, a number of severe disadvantages: long
duration and high cost of analysis, complex sample
preparation procedure, and need to have skilled
personnel. A promising alternative to these techniques
is the approach based on application of multisensor
“electronic tongue” (ET) systems to qualitative and
quantitative analysis. Measurements with these
systems are simple, fast, convenient, and do not
require any gross expenditure for consumables.
Systems of this kind have confirmed their applicability
to solution of a wide variety of applied analytical
problems associated with determining the quality and
making a multicomponent chemical analysis of widely
diverse samples (from food substances to industrial
wastewater and emissions) [12–15].
Successful application of ET systems requires that a
sensor array should include sensor with high cross-
sensitivity to typical components of beverage foods.
Different sensors of the array should differently
respond to presence and concentration of substances of
this kind in a sample. The response of such sensors