ASSESSMENT OF FLOURIDE CONTENT IN VARIOUS POPULAR INDIAN TEA BRANDS.
*Dr. Nagarjuna P., Dr. Chandra Sekhara Reddy V., Dr. Afroz Anjum, Dr. Aripaka Sravani, Dr. Saudagar M. Ziauddin and Dr. Roshan Dhonge
Background: Tea (Camellia sinensis) is a naturally rich source of fluoride. The quantity of fluoride intake is important in optimizing its dental caries- preventive role. Intense concentration of fluoride in tea, can lead to excessive fluoride intake which may cause health problems in turn. The measurement of fluoride intake usually requires information on the fluoride concentration in food and beverages. Objectives: To estimate the fluoride content in various commercial brands of tea available in Indian market. Methods: A total of 15 tea brands among which five different popular brands of green tea and ten different popular brands of black tea was purchased from local supermarkets available in Nellore city. Tea infusions were prepared in a customary way at different brewing time i.e. 3 minutes, 5 minutes and 7 minutes. Fluoride content of all samples was determined by SPADNS method using a spectrophotometer. The top 3 tea brands which release high fluoride content among 15 tea brands were again assessed to determine the effect of adding milk and sugar/honey on the fluoride release. The data was analysed using SPSS (statistical package for social sciences), version 22. Mean and standard deviations were calculated and ANOVA was used to compare the fluoride concentration in tea infusions prepared by different methods. Results: Mean concentration of fluoride in the black tea was 0.94Â±0.02 mg/lit without boiling, 1.04Â±0.09 mg/lit at 3 minutes, 2.07Â±0.14 mg/lit at 5 minutes and 2.81Â±0.18 mg/lit at 7 minutes. Corresponding concentrations in green tea were 1.25Â±0.07 mg/lit, 2.15Â±0.05 mg/lit, 2.96Â±0.07 mg/lit and 3.21Â±0.08 mg/lit respectively. Fluoride concentration was significantly higher in green tea in all four types of infusions. Conclusion: The study shows that tea contains significant amount of fluoride that should be taken into consideration. Currently, there is no strict regulations for the labeling of fluoride content on tea bags/packs in India and many other countries. So regulations concerning labeling should be issued.
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