Patents Cover Green Tea and Shelf Life, Esters and Melting Points 28684

August 20, 2001

1 Min Read
Patents Cover Green Tea and Shelf Life, Esters and Melting Points

Patents Cover Green Tea and Shelf Life, Esters and Melting Points

WASHINGTON--Two major companies in the food and health careindustries have received patents for new technologies involving green teaextract and plant sterol and stanol esters. The Procter & Gamble (P&G)received U.S. Patent No. 6,268,009 for manipulating green tea extract to haveimproved clarity, color and shelf life. In addition, the patented extract mayalso be used in artificially sweetened beverages to mask the aftertaste ofaspartame. Minerals (i.e., calcium, magnesium, aluminum) inherent to green teamay oxidize the teas healthful catechins, including epigallocatechingallate (EGCG),that may in turn make the green beverage astringent, cloudy and even brown.Therefore, the patent details how the minerals are extracted, improving theshelf life of green tea and incidentally nullifying the aftertaste of aspartamein diet drinks.

The second patent, U.S. Patent No. 6.267,963, was given to Kraft Foods Inc.for its technology in changing the melting point for plant sterols withoutchanging its mouthfeel. Usually, plant sterols have high melting points, between130 and 180 degrees C, which may crystallize plant sterols and make them have agrittier texture in foods. The patent stated that plant sterol-emulsifiercomplexes prevent the plant sterols from crystallizing and lower their meltingpoint by 30 degrees C. Emulsifiers include glycol monoester, lactylatemonoglycerides and sodium stearoyl lactylate. The modified esters can be stillused in either full-fat or fat-free products, and the stability and texturalcharacteristics of food may improve through this new process.

More can be found on these patents on the U.S. Patent & Trademark OfficeWeb site (

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