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(21)Application Number:    KElP! 20091 000958       
       
(22) Filing Date: 15/02/2008       
       
(30) Priority data: 07114717.7  21108/2007  EP and 04071MUM/2007 02/03/2007  IN   
       
(86)  PCT data    PCT/EP08/051899    15/02/2008 wo 2008/107296    12/09/2008   

(73) Owner: UNILEVER PLC of Unilever House, Blakfriars, LondonGreater London EC4P 4BQY., United Kingdom

(72) Inventors: ADAVI, Megha, Sarthak ofHindustan Unilever Limited, Research Centre, 64 Main Road, Whitefield P.O., Mumbai 560 066, India; DASALUKUNTEY, Ananthanarayana, Bhima, Rao ofHindustan Unilever Limited, Research Centre, 64 Main Road, Whitefield P.O., Mumbai 560 066, India; NARASIMHAN, Prabba ofHindustan Unilever Limited, Research Centre, 64 Main Road, Whitefield P.O., Mumbai 560 066,India; PAWAR, Vikas, Maruti ofHindustan Unilever Limited, Research Centre, 64 Main Road, Whitefield P.O., Mumbai 560 066, India; SAKSENA, Skand ofHindustan Unilever Limited, Research Centre, 64 Main Road, Whitefield P.O., Mumbai 560 066, India and TIWARI, Jyoti, Kumar ofUnilever R & D Vlaardingen, Olivier van Noortlaan 120, NL-3133 ATV!aardingen, The Netherlands.

(74) Agent/address for correspondence: Kaplan & Stratton Advocates, P.O. Box 40111-00100, Nairobi

(54) Title: TEA COMPOSITION.

(57) Abstract: Disclosed is a tea composition comprising tea; and from 0.1 to 4.0 weight % Bacopa monnieri, its extracts or derivatives thereof. The tea composition may be used to provide enhanced mental health of an individual, improved learningability of an individual and/or improved memoryof an individual whilst delivering the organoleptic properties of tea.
 
TEA COMPOSITION

TECHNICAL FIELD OF INVENTION

5    The present invention relates to a tea composition that provides enhanced health benefits. The invention particularly relates to a tea composition containing herbal actives that provides both enhanced health benefits and the desired organoleptic properties of tea as a beverage.

BACKGROUND TO THE INVENTION

10

Many different tea products are prepared from the tea plant Camellia sinensis. Two of the more popular products are black tea and green tea. Generally, to prepare black leaf tea, fresh green leaves of the tea plant are withered (a process to allow the plucked tea leaves to lose moisture and bring about chemical/ biochemical changes especially in aroma), macerated, fermented (in which

15    process enzymes in the tea leaf use atmospheric oxygen to oxidise various substrates to produce coloured products) and then dried at higher temperatures (to stop the enzyme activities). Green tea is produced by not exposing the tea leaves to the fermentation process. Partial fermentation is used to produce intermediate-type teas known as "oolong" tea.

20    Tea is consumed as a hot beverage or as a cold beverage (for example iced tea). The numerous compounds in the leaves that give the beverage its unique organoleptic properties are only sparingly soluble in cold water. Therefore tea is usually infused in hot water or boiling water. To

get cold tea, this infusion is chilled before consumption.  Cold water soluble instant teas are usually

prepared by spray drying the liquor obtained by extraction of black tea or tea fibers generated during

25    black tea manufacturing process.

Medicinal properties of various plants and herbs are well known and reported. The science of herbal medicine is one of the ancient sciences, which also finds a place in modern medical research. Although herbal medicines are often effective, many herbs and their extracts are disliked

30    by people as they have characteristic odors and tastes, often making them unpalatable. For example, many of them have a very bitter taste. Therefore, many attempts have been made in the past to provide the health benefits of such herbs and their active components through various media like tablets or syrups having high levels of sweeteners. People often consider such media of intake as "medicinal'' and there is resistance among consumers for their sustained in~tnSi)1trof

35    the proven health benefits.
 

Bacopa Monnieri is one such herb which has been known to have benefits in mental health, memory and learning. However, Bacopa Monnieri and its extracts are extremely bitter and for this reason it has been difficult to increase the consumer acceptability of this herb. It would be especially useful for children to consume this herb as the learning capability is known to be highest
5    at a young age. However, since children generally prefer a sweet taste, it has been seen that they are averse to consuming bitter products like those containing herbs like Bacopa Monnieri

Tea is a popular, low-cost beverage that is consumed throughout the world. Its consumption in the Indian subcontinent is particularly high. Hence one would think that a good choice to provide

10    health benefits of herbs to people is through the medium of tea. However this has not been very successful since tea has certain organoleptic properties including a unique taste, aroma, color, flavour and mouthfeel which the consumers identify with and are not ready to compromise. Hence one of the major challenges in incorporating health benefit agents in tea is to ensure that sufficient amounts are incorporated to get the desired efficacy while ensuring that the organoleptic properties

15    of tea are not compromised. Further one has to be very careful that the incorporated herbs and the active components therein do not interact antagonistically with the hundreds of compounds, especially polyphenols, present in tea thereby possibly negating the desired health benefits. The health benefits desired are influenced by many physiological fuctors of the individuals consuming them and the benefits are therefore very difficult to measure and quantify. Hence, although, one

20    would assume that tea is a straightforward medium for incorporation of herbal health benefit agents, there are a large number of interacting factors that need to be carefully studied before arriving at a composition which not only provides the desired health benefits but is also accepted by a wide range of people.

25    An internet search indicates a few instances of reference to Bacopa tea. However a closer look at these compositions reveals that most of these are essentially a decoction of the herb Bacopa in water along with a few other herbs but with no tea (i.e. Camellia sinensis) at all in them. For

example the internet site http://www.amazon.com/Yogi-Healing-Formula-Fasting-16-Count/dp/B0009F3SB4 sells a composition with Bacopa and cardamom with no tea at all in the

30    composition. On the other hand, compositions comprising tea with a high level of Bacopa are known (see, for example, the internet site http://www.vitaminexplorer.com/cataiog/product_info.php?manufucturers _ id=&products _id=5160

&osCsid=Oldaab5f7c36d99c2cc695f5fd27e420). Such teas are quite bitter and~::::'t!SU~ily purchased only by the connoisseur and do not cater to the needs of the mass n,~1~'ii:r'()~~,.. It

35    is thus a problem in the prior art to provide for a mass market composition l~frittlm'th~~?~
 

hand provides benefits like enhanced mental health, learning and memory while on the other hand provides all the conventional taste, aroma, and flavor generally expected from tea.

It is thus an object of the present invention to provide for a tea composition that gives enhanced 5 mental health, learning and memory without affecting the organoleptic properties of tea.

It is another object of the present invention to provide the benefits of enhanced mental health, learning and memory from a tea composition which is especially liked by children.

I 0    SUMMARY OF THE INVENTION

According to one aspect of the present invention there is provided a tea composition comprising:

(a)    tea; and

(b)    from 0.1 to 4.0 weight% Bacopa monnieri, its extracts or derivatives thereof.

15

It is particularly preferred that the composition comprises 0.01 to 1.0% by weight vanillin, its precursors or derivatives thereof.

It is further particularly preferred that the composition comprises a food grade binder.

20

The invention, its advantages and other aspects will now be explained in greater detail, in the following detailed description.

DETAILED DESCRIPTION

25

The present invention relates to providing benefits of enhanced mental health, learning and memory through tea without compromising on its organoleptic properties. The tea composition of the invention comprises tea and a selective amount of Bacopa monnieri of at least 0.1% and utmost 4.0"/o by weight of the tea composition.

30

"Tea" for the purposes of the present invention means leaf material from Camellia sinensis var. sinensis or Camellia sinensis var. assamica and teas processed therewith. It can be black tea, green tea or oolong tea. Else it could be instant tea or ready-to-drink tea. Tea, as per the invention, also includes blend of two or more of any of these teas.

35
 

The tea that is produced by complete fermentation process and that appears black/brown in color is referred to as black tea. The majority of tea produced is of this kind. Black tea manufacturing technology essentially involves disruption of the cellular integrity of tea shoots, thereby enabling the mixing of substrates (polyphenols) and the enzymes (polyphenol oxidases). This results in the initiation of a series of biochemical and chemical reactions with the uptake of atmospheric oxygen and formation of oxidized polyphenolic compounds that are characteristic of tea along with volatile flavour compounds that impart characteristic aroma to tea.

Green  tea  is  produced  by  by-passing  the  fermentation  step.  The  oxidizing  enzymes  are

10    killed/denatured by steam blasting the freshly plucked leaf in perforated trays or by roasting it in a hot iron pan. The steaming is carried out for less than a minute. The leaf is then subjected to further heating and rolling until it turns dark green. The leaves are finally dried to moisture content

of 3 to 4 percent As the fermentation is arrested by the inactivation of polyphenol oxidase, the polyphenols are not oxidized and the leaves remain green. The beverage gives a weaker flavor than

15    black tea due to the absence of theaflavins and thearubigins.

Semi fermented (Oolong) tea is also available. When the fermentation is carried out partially, the resultant teas are referred to as Oolong tea. Oolong tea is mainly consumed for its medical significance.

20

By instant tea is meant that tea powder which is soluble in cold water. The consumer can purchase such instant teas for dissolving in a desired amount of water at a desired temperature to prepare the tea drink. By ready-to-drink tea is meant a tea drink which has been pre-prepared and then packed as a beverage in a container. The consumer just needs to open the pack and drink the beverage at a

25    desired temperature.

As per the present invention, the amounts of tea and Bacopa monnieri are to be taken without accounting for the water therein. In other words, the amounts of tea and Bacopa monnieri are

given on a dry basis.

30

The tea composition of the invention comprises at least 80 weight % tea.

An essential attribute of tea is its organoleptic properties. Tea quality is usually evaluated on the bases of its colour, aroma and taste. An attractive aroma is essential for premium quality~

35    chemical nature of tea aroma, the mechanisms of aroma formation during tea leaf ~d the objective estimation of finished tea aroma are all subjects which have lonSfY~"\66uS of~
 

interest of many researchers. The aroma of different teas is influenced by a number of factors which include the particular variety, the degree of growth prior to harvesting, and the particular agronomic variables under which the tea has been grown; together with the particular method of processing employed. Consumer acceptability of tea is largely dependent upon the flavor of the

5    product. The volatile components comprise the aroma, whereas the non-volatile components are responsible for taste. In order to have the mass market appeal of any new tea composition, it is essential for tea manufacturers to preserve the color, taste, body and aroma of tea, so that

traditional tea drinkers do not reject the tea on the basis of these factors, although they now have an added incentive in that the new tea composition has enhanced health benefits.

10

The present inventors have studied all these factors very carefully before arriving at the selective range of Bacopa monnieri in the range of not less than 0.1 % and not more than 4.0 % by weight of the tea composition. By ensuring that Bacopa is within this selective range, the consumers get the desired health benefits while continuing to drink a tea beverage which has the organoleptic

!5    properties they have always had when drinking tea.

Bacopa monnieri is also known as Bacopa monniera, water hyssop, or Herestis monniera. In India, this herb is known as Braluni. The term Bacopa monnieri, Bacopa and Brahmi are used interchangeably throughout this specification and is meant to denote the same ingredient. Bacopa

20    grows in damp, marshy areas and is under cultivation as a medicinal crop. The herb and extracts for ingestion purposes are known to be very bitter and pungent. Brahmi has been used in a wide

variety of medicinal preparation in "Ayurveda" the traditional Indian system of medicine. In this system of medicine, Brahmi has been used as a brain tonic to enhance memory development, learning and concentration. Active compounds in Brahmi include alkaloids like Bralunine and

25    herpestine; saponins like d-mannitol and hersaponin, acid A and monnierin; and sterols. Other active constituents include betulic acid, stigmastarol, beta-sitosterol and numerous bacosides and bacopasaponins. A preferred amount of Bacopa monnieri, extracts or derivatives thereof in the tea composition of the invention is at least 0.5% and utmost 2.0% by weight of the composition. An

especially preferred form of Bacopa monnieri is an aqueous extract of the herb.  The extract could

30    be made from any part of the Bacopa plant, preferably the aerial part of the Bacopa plant including leaves, shoots, bark, flower, fruits, stem or a mixture thereof. It is especially preferred that the leaf and/ or stem part is used. A preferred form of Bacopa to be added to the tea composition of the invention is the powder form.

~  "  '..)\.:...
35    The inventors have also very carefully studied the chemical composition of the Bacopa moni'Pieh
to determine which constituents and in what amounts provide that the consume~~~ preferted   •
 

tea taste, flavour, aroma and mouth feel and the health benefits of Bacopa which are contrasting demands for the formulator to achieve. The present inventors have determined that the Bacopa monnieri, its extracts or derivatives thereof preferably comprise at least 1% and utmost 20% bacosides by weight, more preferably from 5 to 20% and most preferably from 5 to 17%. In order

5    to get maximum health benefits, a formulator is generally tempted to incorporate Bacopa with higher and higher amounts of actives like bacosides. In fact, the most common Bacopa available from suppliers has a bacoside content of about 50%. The present inventors studied a large number of samples at varying bacoside contents before arriving at a selective range of% bacosides which

gives the best properties in terms of both health benefits and organoleptic properties for the tea

10    drinker from the tea of the present invention.

The tea composition of the invention preferably comprises 0.001 to 1.0% by weight Vanillin, its

precursors or derivatives thereof, more preferably from 0.01 to 1.0%.  It is well known that Bacopa

is a very bitter material and inclusion of it in any food or drink would alter the taste for the

15    consumer. One option for making the composition palatable would be to include a sweetening agent. Various sweetening agents come to mind like sugar, jaggery, honey etc. The present inventors tried a host of such agents most of which worked poorly as a masking agent. One agent, however, that surprisingly worked synergistically at low levels to mask the bitter taste of Bacopa

without hindering the traditional taste of tea to a perceptible level was vanillin, its precursors or

20    derivatives thereof Vanillin is a product of plant origin. It has been extensively used as a flavourant in many food products especially ice creams. Synthetic versions of Vanillin are also available. Most suitable among them for use in the present invention is natural vanilla extract.

Vanillin is the principal flavour and aroma compound in vanilla The main species used to obtain

25    vanillin is Vanilla planifolia. The part of the plant which is used to extract the distinctive flavored compounds are the fruits. Though there are many compounds present in the extracts of vanilla, the compound predominantly responsible for the characteristic flavor and smell of vanilla is vanillin. Synthetic vanillin is available as methyl and ethyl vanillin which are most commonly used as

flavors.

30

A preferred amount of vanillin, its precursors or derivatives thereof is in the range of 0.01 to 0.6% by weight of the tea composition, or even 0.1 to 0 .6%.

The tea composition ofthe invention preferably comprises a food grade binder. Foo~e binders

35    suitable for use in the tea composition of the present invention include thosl/~cted frow ' polysaccharides, gums, polymers or a mixture thereof Most suitable for use ~~ '{>ind!!T js a
 

polysaccharide, preferably a mixture of polysaccharides. Most preferred polysaccharides are maltodextrins, modified starch and gum acacia.

Maltodextrin is a product obtained by controlled and partial hydrolysis of starch. It is a product

5    midway between starch and glucose. The product thus obtained is refined by clarification, carbon treatment, ion exchange and then spray drying to a desired moisture level. Maltodextrin is a white powder which is very bland in taste with very little sweetness.

Modified starch is another useful binder which may be used in the tea composition of the

10.    invention. A more preferred modified starch is cross-linked starch where the amylase and amylopectin chains of starch get stuck together into a network. A most preferred modified starch for used as a binder in the present invention is HICAP 100® which is a modified starch sold by National Starch and Chemicals.

15    Gum acacia, also called gum Arabic, is a substance that is taken from two sub-Saharan species of the acacia tree, Acacia senegal and Acacia seyal. It is used primarily in the food industry as a stabilizer, but has more varied uses. Gum acacia is a complex mixture of saccharides and

glycoproteins, which makes it edible. It is an important ingredient in soft drink syrups, "hard" gummy candies like gumdrops, and in marshmallows. In the past, gum acacia has been used as a

20    traditional carrier for spray dried flavor applications.

The above binders are uniquely selected to serve a host of purposes. They serve on the one hand to emulsify the liquid/oily additives and on the other hand serve to ensure binding of the solid additives like Bacopa powder to the tea in a uniform way. The binders also ensure some amount

25    of encapsulation to the actives added to the tea composition to ensure physical and chemical stability during storage, transport and use. The total amount of binder is preferably in the range of 0.05 to 5.0% by weight of the tea composition.

The tea composition of the invention may optionally comprise a flavouring agent Many flavouring

30    agents generally used in food products may be used but most preferred agents are cardamom

(Elettaria cardamomum), saffron (Crocus sativus), and/or almond (Prunus amygdalis). When used, cardamom is preferably added as a powder and/or oil. Suitable product form of saf~• the saffron strand form and almond is in oil or flavour form. These optional flav . g agents are preferably present in amounts in the range ofO.l to 3% by weight of the tea co~,
 

The tea composition of the invention preferably comprises not more than 8% moisture by weight.

The tea composition of the present invention may be prepared by any suitable process, however, in a preferred aspect, the present invention provides a process to prepare the tea composition, the

5    process comprising the step of blending the tea with the Bacopa monnieri, its extracts or derivatives.

An especially preferred process comprises the steps of

(a) dispersing a binder and/or natural vanilla extract in water to form a dispersion;

10    (b) blending tea with Bacopa monnieri powder to form a dry blend;

(c)    blending said dry blend with said dispersion to form a wet blend and

(d)    drying the wet blend to a moisture content less then 8% by weight.

It is preferred that the wet blend has a moisture content in the range of 8 to 15 weight%.  Suitable

15    temperatures for drying the wet blend to form the tea composition of the invention include those in the range of 50 to 75°C.

Health benefits afforded by this composition can be derived by conswning an infusion of said

composition. Infusion of said tea composition can be consumed black (i.e. tea without milk) or by

20    adding milk to the infusion. Alternatively, the composition can also be infused in a mixture of water and milk, or in milk alone. This composition is also suitable for being packed in tea bags, wherein the tea composition is subsequently infused in cups or kettles. The tea composition of the invention is especially suitable for consumption by children. At a young age the rate of learning is

faster than at any other age.  At this age, consumption of the tea beverage of the invention which

25    has a pleasing taste and flavour and provides enhanced learning in these children is a very useful product which is as of now not an available product in the market and this product is bound to be highly sought after.
 


EXAMPLES

Source and origin of the ingredients used in the Examples

Ingredient    Form of ingredient    Source    andgeographical   
                    ori!dn of iltg_redient           
Tea    Brooke  Bond  Red  Label  Tea  (black            Hindustan Lever Limited, India   
            tea)                               
Bacopa    Powder  of  aqueous  extract  of  of    Sami Labs, Bangalore           
                   
monnieri    Bacopa  monnieri  which  is  sourced                               
            from cultivated areas.                               
                                               
Natural   Vanilla    Powder or Liquid    Imported    into    India    and   
                       
flavour            marketed    by    Firmenich,   
                    Mumbai.                       
Cardamom    Powder of natural cardamom seeds        Synthite    Industrial    Chemicals,   
                    Cochin, India               
                                   
                                               
Cardamom oil    Oil from seeds of natural cardamom    Synthite    Industrial    Chemicals,   
                    Cochin, India               
                                   
Almond    Oil  from  almond  seeds  or  Almond    Imported    into    India    and   
            powder flavour    marketed    by    Firmenich,   
                    Mumbai.                       
Saffron    Natural ground saffron    Local traders in India           
HI CAP""    Powdered starch    National Starch               
                       
                       
Gum Acacia    Powder    Kapadia Gum Chern Ind           
Maltodextrin    Powder    Riddhi Siddhi Gluco Biols           

5

The following examples are presented by way of illustrations and they do not limit the scope of the invention in any way.

Examples 1 to 4 and Comparative Examples A and B

!0

Several compositions as shown in Table-1 were prepared. The tea compositions were prepared by dry blending the various components till a uniform mixture was attained. The tea beverages were prepared as per the method described below. Each beverage was tasted by seven people who were asked to score the beverage on a scale of 1 to 5 with the score of 1 being most acceptable and the

15    score of 5 being most bitter. Table 1 also lists the average score for each of the compositions. An average score from 1 to 3.5 is generally considered acceptable, with a score of 1 to 2 being highly acceptable, while a score of more than 3.5 is considered not acceptable.

Process to make tea beverage:
 

20
 

Twenty grams of the tea composition was taken in a saucepan and 40 grams of~ &io rnl 9:t: water and 400 rnl of pre-boiled milk were added to it. The contents of the sau~4 were bMukbt
 

to a boil till one rise with occasional stirring after which the tea powder was strained from the

concoction.

Table -1

    Comp.        Example- I    Example-2    Example-3    Example- 4           
Composition                            Comp.   
    Example-A                                Examole- B   
Bacopa, wt%    0        1    2    3        4        5       
Tea, wt"lo    100        To 100    To 100    To 100    To 100    To 100   
Average score    1.0        1.5    2.0    3.0        3.5        4.5       

5

The data in table- I indicates that tea with Bacopa only in a selective range is acceptable to the

consumer in terms of taste.

Efficacy of the tea composition of the invention:

10

A  cell  culture  assay as  summarized  below  was  used to  determine the  efficacy  of various  tea

compositions as per the invention vis-a-vis tea alone.

Cell culture: Neuro 2A cells were cultured in MEM media in presence of 5% C02  at 37°C in a

15    humidified incubator with 10 mVlt Antibiotic Antimycotic solution, 0.11 gmilt sodium bicarbonate, 0.4 gmllt HEPES buffer, 8% ofFCS. Cells with passage number 180-220 were used in all assays. The cells were subcultured every 3-4 days in 25 cm2 "T flasks".

Herb I active preparation: Herbal extracts were dissolved in hot MilliQ®  water and prepared as

20    stock. All further dilutions were prepared in the MEM with serum the regular culture media.

Assay procedure - Neuro2A the cells were grown in 25 cm2 "T flasks" till they were 70-80% confluent. The cells were plated in 96 well plate at density of 2 - 4 Xl04 cells per well in 100

microlitre media per well. Cells were incubated overnight (-14 hrs). Next day the spent media was

25    changed in all the wells either with the regular media as sham treatment for control or with media containing herb at desired concentrations. The cells were incubated for 24-26 hours with the herb

extract.    After 24 hours of incubation the cells morphology was photographed using bright field

inverted microscope setup. The images were analysed for number of neurites per hundred cells

(neurite index). Minimum four wells were plated for every concentration of herb for purpose of

30    multiple readings and the mean score of those wells was taken to reduce the variability in re~ due to fluctuations in different wells.


Various compositions were used as shown in Table-2 using the above assay. The data in table -2 summarises the neurite index which is the number ofneurites grown per 100 cells.

Table-2

    Component            Comp    Ex-SA    Ex- S    Ex-6A        Ex- 6        Ex-7A    Ex-7
                    Ex-A                                               
    Bacopa, ppm in        0    10    10    6        6        2        2       
    culture                                                           
    Tea,   ppm    in        1SO    0    1SO    0        7S        0        40       
    culture                                                           
    Bacopa, wt"/o    in        0    -    1.7    -        2.0        -        1.3       
    composition                                                           
    Neurite Index            12.6    16.9    17.0    17.6        1S.9        14.6        16.0       

5

The data in Table-2 indicate that compositions as per the invention (Examples S to 7) are superior to the control (Comp. Ex- A) where only tea was added. Further, the neurite index achieved with Bacopa incorporated in tea (Example S to 7) is comparable to having Bacopa alone (Examples SA to 7A), based on which it can be concluded that tea does not have an antagonistic effect on neurite

10    growth on incorporation ofBacopa in it. Rather the efficacy ofBacopa is maintained when tea is used as a vehicle.

Examples 8 to 10

15    Various tea compositions were prepared as summarized in Table-3. The compositions were prepared as per the process given below.

Process to prepare the tea compositions:

20    One kg of Black tea was taken in a planetary mixer and blended with indicated amount of Bacopa monnieri and Vanilla flavour powder for about S minutes to form a dry blend. Water was then sprayed onto the dry blend to form a wet mass at a moisture content of 12% by weight. The wet mass was then dried in a fluid bed drier at temperature of SS°C to yield a tea composition having moisture content of about S% by weight.

25

Tea beverages were prepared with the tea compositions of Examples 8 to 10 using a method as described for Example-! and the taste of the tea beverage was evaluated. The taste is summarized in Table-3.
 


30

Table-3

ColllP_osition        Example -8    Example-9               
                    Example-10   
Bacopa    monmen    1.75            1.75        1.75       
powder, wt"lo                                   
Natural    Vanilla    0            0.65        0.25       
flavour, wt"/o                                   
Tea        To 100    To 100        To 100   
Taste        Acceptable    Highly Acceptable but        Highly acceptable   
                    vanilla  taste  bit  too               
                    strong               

The data in Table 3 indicates that the  inclusion of vanilla flavour in small amounts in the tea

composition of the invention makes the beverage made out of it highly acceptable to the consumer.

5    The more preferred amount of vanilla is up to 0.6% by weight of the tea composition.

Example -11 and Comparative Example A and C

Tea compositions shown in Table-4 were prepared using the process as described for Example- I.

10    Beverages were prepared using the same method as used for Example- I.

The beverages were tasted by seven people who were asked to score each beverage on a scale of 0 to 5 with the score of 0 being most acceptable and the score of 5 being most bitter. Table 4 also lists the average score for each of the compositions.

15

Table-4

Composition                    Comparative    Example-11    Comparative
                        Example-A        Example-C
Bacopa        monnieri    0    1.75    1.75
powder, wt%               
bacosides        inthe        -    10    20
Bacopa    monnieri,               
wt"lo                           
Wt%Tea                100    To 100    To 100
Taste, average score    0    1.0    4.4

The data in Table-4 indicates that using Bacopa monnieri having bacosides in a tea composition at as high as 20% is less acceptable to the consumer than one having only 10% bacosides.

CLAIMS

1.    A  tea composition comprising:

(a)    tea; and

(b)    from 0.1 to 4.0 weight% Bacopa monnieri, its extra'Qt!..:tr~atives.thel:eo£<

2.    A tea composition as claimed in claim 1 comprising from 0.5% to 2.0 weight% Bacopa monnieri, its extracts or derivatives thereof.

3.    A tea composition as claimed in claim 1 or claim 2 additionally comprising 0.001 to 1.0% by weight of the composition of Vanillin, its precursors or derivatives thereof.

4.    A tea composition as claimed in claim 3 comprising 0.01 to 0.6 weight% Vanillin, its precursors or derivatives thereof.

5.    A tea composition as claimed in claim 3 or claim 4 comprising natural vanilla extract.

6.    A tea composition as claimed in liilY one of the preceding claims additionally comprising a food grade binder.

7.    A tea composition as claimed in claim 6 wherein said food grade binder is present in an amount in the range of0.05 to 5.0% by weight of the tea composition.

8.    A tea composition as claimed in claim 6 or 7 wherein said binder is a polysaccharide, gum, polymer or a mixture thereof.

9.    A tea composition as claimed in claim 8 wherein said binder is a polysaccharide, modified polysaccharide or mixture thereof.

10.    A tea composition as claimed in any one of the preceding claims comprising aqueous extract of Bacopa monnieri.

11.    A tea composition as claimed in claim 10 wherein said aqueous extract comprises from 1% to 20% bacosides by weight of the extract.
 

12.    A tea composition as claimed in any of the preceding claims wherein said tea is black tea, green tea, oolong tea, or a mixture thereof.

13.    A tea composition as claimed in any of the preceding claims wherein said tea is instant tea.



14.    A tea composition as claimed in any of the preceding claims wherein the tea composition is a ready-to-drink tea composition.

15.    A tea composition as claimed in any of the preceding claims comprising at least 80% tea by weight of the composition.

16.    A tea composition as claimed in any one of the preceding claims additionally comprising a flavoring agent.

17.    A tea composition as  claimed in claim  16 wherein said flavoring agent  is  cardamom

(Elettaria cardamomum), saffron (Crocus sativus), almond (Prunus amygladus), or a mixture thereof.

18.    A tea composition as claimed in claim 16 or 17 wherein said flavoring agent is present in an amount in the range of 0.1 to 3% by weight of the tea composition.

19.    A tea composition as claimed in any one of the preceding claims comprising not more than 8% moisture by weight of the tea composition.

20.    A process to prepare a tea composition as claimed in any one of the preceding claims, comprising the step of blending tea with the Bacopa monnieri, its extracts or derivatives.

21.    A process for preparing a tea composition as claimed in any one of claims 1-19, the process comprising the steps of:

(a)    dispersing a binder and/or natural vanilla extract in water to form a dispersion;

(b)    blending tea with Bacopa monnieri powder to form a dry blend;

(c)    blending said dry blend with said dispersion to form a wet blend and
 

(d) drying the wet blend to a moisture content less then 8% by weight.

22.    A process as claimed in claim 21 wherein the wet blend has a moisture content in the range of 8 to 15 weight %.

23.    A process as claimed in any one of claims 21 or 22 wherein the drying is done at a temperature in the range of 50 to 75°C.

24.    The composition according to any one of claims 1 to 19 for use as a medicament.

25.    Use of a composition according to any one of claims I to 19 in the manufacture of a medicament for enhancing or maintaining the mental health of an individual; improving or maintaining the learning ability of an individual; and/or improving or maintaining the memory of an individual.

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