BACKGROUND: Guava leaf tea (GLT), exhibiting a diversity of medicinal bioactivities, has become a popularly consumed daily beverage. To improve the product quality, a new process was recommended to the Ser-Tou Farmers' Association (SFA), who began field production in 2005. The new process comprised simplified steps: one bud-two leaves were plucked at 3:00-6:00 am, in the early dawn period, followed by withering at ambient temperature (25-28 °C), rolling at 50 °C for 50-70 min, with or without fermentation, then drying at 45-50 °C for 70-90 min, and finally sorted. RESULTS: The product manufactured by this new process (named herein GLTSF) exhibited higher contents (in mg g-1, based on dry ethyl acetate fraction/methanolic extract) of polyphenolics (417.9 ± 12.3) and flavonoids (452.5 ± 32.3) containing a compositional profile much simpler than previously found: total quercetins (190.3 ± 9.1), total myricetin (3.3 ± 0.9), total catechins (36.4 ± 5.3), gallic acid (8.8 ± 0.6), ellagic acid (39.1 ± 6.4) and tannins (2.5 ± 9.1). CONCLUSION: We have successfully developed a new process for manufacturing GLTSF with a unique polyphenolic profile. Such characteristic compositional distribution can be ascribed to the right harvesting hour in the early dawn and appropriate treatment process at low temperature, avoiding direct sunlight.
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