Monitoring of black tea fermentation process using electronic nose

Nabarun Bhattacharyya, Sohan Seth, Bipan Tudu, Pradip Tamuly, Arun Jana, Devdulal Ghosh, Rajib Bandyopadhyay, Manabendra Bhuyan

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

Abstract / Description of output

Black tea fermentation is essentially an oxidation process. After the plucked tea leaves are treated by series of processes called withering (removal of moisture by air flow), pre-conditioning and CTC (essentially maceration and cutting of leaves), the leaves are subjected to the process of fermentation by exposing them to air by laying the cut tea leaves on floor, trough or moving conveyor under controlled temperature, humidity and air-flow conditions. During this process, the leaves change colour from green to coppery brown and the grassy smell gets transformed to floral smell. It is critical that the leaves be allowed to ferment only up to the desired limit and both under and over fermentation result in deteriorated quality of black tea. Out of the two detectable parameters (colour and smell), smell is very important since a strong, very specific fragrance emanates from the leaves once leaves are optimally fermented. A new electronic nose-based approach for monitoring of tea aroma during fermentation is proposed. Two methods namely the 2-Norm method (2NM) and the Mahalanobis distance method (MDM) were tested and the results were correlated with the results of colorimetric tests and human expert evaluation.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)1146-1156
Number of pages11
JournalJournal of food engineering
Issue number4
Publication statusPublished - 30 Jun 2007


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