A direct qualitative and quantitative determination of the glycosides of tea aroma compounds at the four stages of the oolong tea manufacturing process (plucking, solar withering, indoor withering, and oolong tea product) was carried out by a capillary gas chromatographic-mass spectrometric analysis after trifluoroacetyl derivatization of the glycosidic fractions. Sixteen glucosides and primeverosides were identified and quantified in cv. Chin-shin-oolong and cv. Chinhsuan-oolong. A comparison of the glycosides in dried fresh leaves between the two cultivars showed significant differences. During the manufacturing process, the amounts of most of these glycosides increased from the solar-withering stage, reaching the highest level at the final stage of oolong tea production. It was noted that no glycoside decreased in its content during the manufacturing process, this being quite different from the manufacture of black tea. In addition, the contents of these alcoholic aroma compounds in the free aroma concentrate from each cultivar remained almost unchanged or slightly decreased, and they constituted only about 12 and 17% in amount of the whole oolong tea aroma compounds. However, jasmine lactone and indole were markedly higher in the final oolong tea products.
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