Separationless and Adsorptionless Quantification of Individual Catechins in Green Tea with a Carbon Nanotube–Carboxymethylcellulose Electrode

We demonstrate the electrochemical quantification of individual catechins (epicatechin, EC; epigallocatechin, EGC; epicatechingallate, ECG; and epigallocatechingallate, EGCG) in a green tea infusion without a separation process nor any adsorption complication. In the detection of catechins, long-length carbon nanotube (CNT)–carboxymethylcellulose (CMC) thin-film electrodes have attractive properties, such as well-defined current peaks, high reproducibility from sample to sample, high repeatability, and low background current. Cyclic voltammograms (CVs) for real green tea, which is mainly composed of a mixture of the four catechins, are produced by the sum of those catechins. A set of three specific peaks in the CVs of the real green tea samples, as catechin-mixture solutions, was used for quantification of the individual catechins. The CVs of the real samples are similar to the CVs of intentionally prepared mixture solutions with the catechin-component ratios determined by high-performance liquid chromatography (HPLC). The values for the real samples determined from the CVs show good agreement with those obtained by HPLC. The novelty of the work is the demonstration of the usefulness of the CNT–CMC electrode and the separationless quantification of individual catechins in green tea for the first time.