【News】 Theaflavins contained in black tea sterilize norovirus: World-first finding by Shizuoka Prefectural Government’s Institute (Oct.12, 2016)


Shizuoka Prefectural Government has announced by October 11 that one of its research institutes made a world-first discovery of a sterilizing action of “theaflavins” against norovirus. The theaflavin is a kind of polyphenols that black tea contains.

Existing norovirus disinfectants are harmful to hands and other parts of a human body. The Shizuoka Government plans to develop a new disinfectant, friendly with the human-body, made from plants in collaboration with a private corporation concerned.

The theaflavin is pigment, a cause of red color of the black tea. Shizuoka Institute of Environment and Hygiene operated by the Prefectural Government at Shizuoka city found that theaflavins act to prevent virus from invading cells by implementing experiments which inject liquid mixed with theaflavins and virus, close to human norovirus, into cells of mice, cats and hogs.

Researchers of the Institute have found out the effective function of theaflavins from among more than 2000 kinds of materials.

“Shizuoka Prefecture is famous for its tea production. We wish to produce a human-body friendly disinfectant by processing our tea leaves,” Kazuhiro Owada, director of drug and food department of the Research Institute says.

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