Various low-molecular-weight phytochemicals in green tea (Camellia sinensis L.), especially (-)-epigallocatechin- 3-O-gallate (EGCG), are known to be involved in health promotion and disease risk reduction. However, the underlying mechanism has remained elusive because of the absence of an analytical technique that can easily detect the precise behavior of such a small molecule. Recently, we have identified a cell-surface EGCG-sensing receptor and the related signaling molecules that control the physiological functions of EGCG. We also developed a novel in situ label-free imaging technique for visualizing spatially resolved biotransformations based on simultaneous mapping of EGCG and its phase II metabolites. Furthermore, we established a chemometric method capable of evaluating the functionality of multicomponent green tea extracts by focusing on their compositional balances. This review highlights our proposed small molecule-sensing techniques for detecting the complex behavior of green tea components and linking such information to an enhanced understanding of green tea functionality.
All Science Journal Classification (ASJC) codes
- Analytical Chemistry
- Applied Microbiology and Biotechnology
- Molecular Biology
- Organic Chemistry