Since ancient times, tea has been known as “the medicine for all diseases”. There are six famous teas in my country, and Pu-erh tea is one of them, which is the favorite of many people.
Not long ago, the debate about whether there are bacteria in Pu-erh tea and whether drinking Pu-erh tea will cause cancer has attracted the attention of many netizens.
People who often drink Pu’er tea worry about whether it is good to drink Pu’er tea, and they are afraid of causing cancer due to excessive intake of harmful substances.
So, is Pu-erh tea safe to drink? Let’s first understand how it is made.
What is Pu-erh tea
Pu-erh tea can be divided into two kinds: raw tea and cooked tea. In fact, it is the difference between traditional craft and modern craft. According to market demand and the result of the resonance of tea technology progress.
Raw Pu-erh tea is mainly made of fresh leaves of local arbor-type large-leaf tea trees in Yunnan. , dried in the sun to make Maoqing, and then autoclaved to make cakes or directly stored in the form of loose tea. The tea is strong, the soup is greenish-yellow and clear, and the entrance is sharp and domineering with a bitter and astringent taste.
Ritured Pu-erh tea is mainly made by applying the stacking fermentation technology to accelerate the aging process of tea leaves, which belongs to artificial accelerated fermentation. The color of cooked Pu-erh tea is dark brown and reddish brown. After brewing, the color of the soup is dark red and black, with no bitterness in the entrance, and a smooth and sweet aftertaste.
During the fermentation process of Pu-erh tea, some mold will be produced, so can these Pu-erh tea with mold still be drinkable? Is drinking too much the same as drinking dirty water?
Mould Pu-erh tea is drinking dirty water?
More and more scientific studies have shown that drinking tea can bring many health benefits. Pu-erh tea has the functions of lowering blood lipids, losing weight, warming the stomach, digesting food and reducing phlegm, and producing body fluid and quenching thirst. Warehousing and aging of Pu-erh tea is an indispensable link in the production process, and the storage process is highly susceptible to mold contamination. In recent years, topics such as moldy Pu-erh tea, aflatoxin produced by mold contamination, and easy to cause cancer after drinking too much have attracted widespread attention.
In the process of “mold” in Pu’er, there will indeed be a variety of strains such as Rhizopus, Aspergillus niger, Aspergillus grisea, yeast, and green Mildew, the technical term for this process is called stacking.
The so-called stacking fermentation is actually to make Pu-erh tea moldy. Aspergillus niger is the main force in Pu-erh’s microorganisms. During the fermentation process of Pu-erh tea, more than 20 kinds of hydrolysis are produced. These hydrolytic enzymes can be fermented to produce enzymes such as cellulase, protease, starch saccharification enzyme, pectinase, etc., so that Pu-erh tea can play a role in reducing fat and sugar.
Some people feel that the Pu’er tea in their hands is not fragrant when they see that there are so many strains in Pu’er tea…
In fact, don’t worry too much, in the fermentation process of tea, the production of yeast and the reproduction of mold can effectively inhibit the growth of other harmful bacteria. In other words, these ingredients can stimulate the active ingredients in Pu-erh tea leaves and improve the quality and taste of tea leaves.
And Aspergillus niger is a common fungus in nature, which is more common in vegetables, fruits, starch products, etc. It is also an industrial fungus with great economic value, which can be widely used in fermentation to produce edible alcohol, citric acid and other food industrial products.
It should be reminded that although the mold in Pu-erh tea is harmless to the human body, tea leaves are easily contaminated with tea powder during the storage process. with dust. Therefore, before everyone drinks tea, it is necessary to use boiling water to “wash the tea”. In this way, the tea leaves will be cleaner and the taste will be more mellow.
So, does Pu’er tea contain aflatoxin, a strong carcinogen? How is it different from Aspergillus niger?
Pu-erh tea contains aflatoxin, which can cause cancer?
There are many rumors about the carcinogenicity of Pu-erh tea, among which writer Fang Zhouzi‘s Drinking Pu-erh tea prevents cancer or causes cancer? “ article. It was mentioned in the article that Pu-erh tea is easily contaminated with various mycotoxins such as aflatoxin, fumonisin, and vomitoxin.
Also listed, in 2010 Guangzhou Center for Disease Control and Prevention and 2012 Nanchang University a food engineering master’s degree in Pu’er tea samples, can detect aflatoxin.
The statement that 1mg of Aspergillus flavus can cause cancer and 20mg may directly lead to death sounds really scary, but is there such a mold in cooked Pu’er tea?
The answer is Pu’er The tea does not contain aflatoxin.
First of all, let’s understand what aflatoxin is. Yellow Aspergillus is a mycotoxin, which is a kind of secondary metabolite produced by Aspergillus flavus and Aspergillus parasiticus, which can cause damage to various tissues and organs in the human body, such as liver and kidney, resulting in deformity, cell mutation, and cancer. , which has been identified as a class I carcinogen by FAO and WHO, seriously endangering the health of humans, livestock and poultry.
GB 2761-2011Food There are certain restrictions on the content of aflatoxin in food in “National Safety Standard for Mycotoxin Limits in Foods“: ≤0.5μg/kg in special dietary foods, and ≤5μg/kg in other foods.
In response to such remarks, in September 2017, Consumer Reports also conducted a follow-up report, and from the storage of market purchases. 8 types of Pu-erh tea with storage time ranging from a few months to 4 years were sent for inspection. The test results of professional institutions showed that no aflatoxin was found in these 8 Pu-erh teas.
Although aflatoxin is very common in nature, aflatoxin is not produced in the production process of Pu-erh tea, because aflatoxin cannot survive when it comes into contact with ripe Pu-erh tea, so It will not cause human carcinogenic hazards.
Pu-erh tea will produce a fungus of Aspergillus niger during the production process. This fungus is not only very beneficial to the human body, but also can inhibit the The growth of Aspergillus flavus, and the bioenzymatic activity of degrading aflatoxin.
In addition, Pu-erh tea also contains caffeine and tannins, which can also inhibit the growth of aflatoxin. Therefore, the claim that Pu-erh cooked tea has carcinogenic ingredients is wrong. So what changes will occur to the body after drinking tea for a long time?
What are the benefits of drinking tea every day?
Researchers from the School of Public Health of Peking University, including 480,000 normal adults and 30,000 diabetic patients, conducted an 11-year follow-up study and found that normal adults drink daily Tea drinkers had an 8% lower risk of developing type 2 diabetes; daily tea drinkers among diabetics had a 10% and 12% lower risk of all-cause mortality and microvascular complications, respectively.
Helps lose weight
There was a Japanese study on oolong tea, long-term drinking of oolong tea It is easier for people to maintain their weight because oolong tea contains caffeine, which can affect the body’s metabolism and accelerate calorie consumption. In addition, oolong tea can increase the fat decomposition rate by 20%, which can still be effective after the human body enters the sleep state.
Drinking tea can also reduce the levels of cholesterol and triglycerides in the blood. Cholesterol and triglycerides are the “culprits” in the formation of vascular fat accumulation. The tea polyphenols contained in tea have a good promotion effect on the body’s fat metabolism. In addition, tea polyphenols also have a good antioxidant effect, which can reduce the speed of blood vessel oxidation.
A study in the American Journal of Clinical Nutrition showed that tea polyphenols in tea contains a type of flavonoids, which can effectively reduce the heart rate of heart disease. The risk of vascular events can also dilate blood vessels and delay the development of atherosclerosis.
Although drinking tea has various benefits, it does not mean that it can completely replace water to replenish body water. And drinking too much tea will also cause “tea drunk” like drunkenness, which is mainly manifested in the destruction of electrolyte balance, damage to the digestive tract, etc., so tea also needs to be drunk in moderation.
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