Investigation and dynamic profiling of oligopeptides, free amino acids and derivatives during Pu-erh tea fermentation by ultra-high performance liquid chromatography tandem mass spectrometry
Food Chem. 2021 Sep 17;371:131176. doi: 10.1016/j.foodchem.2021.131176. Online ahead of print.
Microbial fermentation is the critical step of Pu-erh tea manufacture, which will induce dramatic changes in the chemical composition and content of tea. In this research, we applied multi-methods based on UHPLC-Q-TOF/MS to profile the dynamic changes of oligopeptides, free amino acids, and derivatives (OPADs) during Pu-erh fermentation and predicted the potential bioactivities in silico. A total of 60 oligopeptides, 18 free amino acids, and 42 amino acid derivatives were identified, and the contents of most of them decreased after fermentation. But several N-acetyl amino acids increased 7-36 times after fermentation, and they might be the potential inhibitors of neurokinin-1 receptor. Moreover, the results of metamicrobiology showed Aspergillus niger and Aspergillus luchuensis were more prominent to metabolize protein, oligopeptides, and amino acids. Overall, these findings provide valuable insights about dynamic variations of OPADs during Pu-erh tea fermentation and are beneficial for guiding practical fermentation and quality control of Pu-erh tea.