Antioxidants, which form the first line of defense within the plant system, also play a critical role in preventing oxidative damage in humans. Hence, these phytochemicals can serve as an excellent marker/ indicator of food quality. However, depletion of antioxidants/ food quality has been a critical problem under chemical farming practices, which has also led to the depletion of polyphenol ... [Show full abstract] content in tea, thereby severely limiting its health giving benefits. In this scenario there have been growing evidences regarding higher content of vitamins, essential nutrients and antioxidants in organically grown food products. The present study was conducted to assess the intrinsic quality (polyphenol and flavanoid content) of tea grown under organic practice (Assam and Cachar organic gardens under Inhana Rational Farming Technology i.e. IRF, which is developed by Inhana Biosciences) vis-à-vis under chemical farming (samples collected from conventional tea gardens in the same agro-ecological zone and leading commercial brands).
Higher polyphenol content was obtained in case of all the organic samples (mean 103.73 mg/g under IRF) as compared to conventional ones (mean 95.99 mg/g). Another important finding was the higher improvement in polyphenol status of tea under adoption of a comprehensive ‘Organic Package of Practice’ i.e. IRF. Evidential data in this respect was obtained from FAO-CFC-TBI Project, conducted at Maud Tea Estate (organic garden in Assam) for ‘Finding out a Sustainable Pathway for Organic Tea Development’ from 2009 to 2011. The study indicated higher average polyphenol content (106.58 mg/g) in Maud samples post adoption of IRF as compared to the value obtained for (92.76 mg/g) branded conventional samples. The above studies conclusively exhibited organic approach as the only true pathway for restoring the potential of tea as a health drink and also confirmed the effectivity of IRF towards enhancement of tea quality.