Powdered rooibos tea extract (RTE), which is rich in polyphenols, is made from rooibos tea by freeze-drying. “Rooibos” is Afrikaans for “red bush,” and the scientific name is “Aspalathus linearis.” It is a broom-like member of the legume family of plants and is used to make an herbal tea which has been popular in South Africa for generations and is now consumed in many countries. In the present work, the anti-oxidative effect of RTE on oils and fats in autoxidation or thermal oxidation was studied, and it was confirmed that RTE has a very strong anti-oxidative effect on emulsifying oils owing to the water-soluble polyphenols such as rutin and quercetin contained in RTE. RTE was found to have a strong ability to quench radicals generated in the water phase, and to confer higher thermal stability against deep fat frying than tocopherol. But RTE showed little anti-oxidative effect on frying oil because of its lower oil-solubility.
2009 by Japan Oil Chemists' Society