According to findings published in the Journal of Agricultural and Food Chemistry, a spray-dried extract of yerba-mate (Ilex paraguariensis A.St.-Hill, Aquifoliaceae) is rich in polyphenols and displays high antioxidant activity.
“Yerba-mate or maté (Ilex paraguariensis A.St.-Hill, Aquifoliaceae) leaves are typically used for their stimulant, antioxidant, antimicrobial, and diuretic activity, presenting as principal components polyphenolic compounds,” explained researchers led by Kleber Berté from the Federal University of Paraná.
“This trial demonstrated that the obtaining of spray-dried yerba-mate is promising in the generation of a new raw material for the industry,” they added.
Commenting on the findings, the American Herbal Products Association (AHPA) said that the study shows that the spray-dried water extracts of herbs normally brewed as tea “may provide a tea alternative for herb use as a food or supplement ingredient”.
The researchers, based in Southern Brazil, report their production of a spray dried yerba-mate dry extract. Subsequent analysis showed that the spray drying technique increased levels of certain polyphenol compounds, compared to the dry leaves. Specifically, increases in rutin, caffeic acid, and 5-caffeoylquinic acid were found following spray drying.
“The [DPPH antioxidant] test was performed with ascorbic acid, a well know antioxidant compound, [and this was found to be] 99.04 percent less effective than the yerba-mate extract,” wrote the researchers.
According to the Brazilian researchers, the Council of Europe lists yerba mate as a natural source of food flavouring, while in the US, it is listed as GRAS (generally recognized as safe).
Source: Journal of Agricultural and Food Chemistry
Published online ahead of print, doi: 10.1021/jf2008343
“Chemical Composition and Antioxidant Activity of Yerba-Mate (Ilex paraguariensis A.St. Hill., Aquifoliaceae) Extract as Obtained by Spray Drying”
Authors: K.A.S. Berté, M.R. Beux, P.K.W.D.S. Spada, M. Salvador, R. Hoffmann-Ribani