As food waste has become a major problem in recent years, measures against food loss have become an urgent issue. When manufacturing or making green tea beverages, large quantities of tea leaves are subsequently disposed of, which results in potential food loss. Moreover, because many of the tea components remain in the used tea leaves, these continue to have value, as these leaves exhibit antibacterial action. Furthermore, histamine is produced from histidine via histidine decarboxylase that is produced by microorganisms, with histamine accumulation potentially causing histamine food poisoning. Although we have been trying to develop a simple method for detecting histamine, there has yet to be a quick detection method established. We examined whether a method using a low concentration of bromocresol indicator in the culture medium was capable of rapidly detecting histamine. Our results demonstrated that when using lower indicator concentrations, there was a faster detection of histamine production, within 4 h. Using this method, we also investigated whether used tea leaf components, which have antibacterial effects, could suppress histamine production. In this study, used leaves from green, oolong, and black teas were analyzed according to different extraction processes. Compared with green tea, oolong and black teas were able to suppress histamine production using lower concentrations, 25 and 12.5% extracts, respectively. In contrast, the inhibitory effect on histamine production by used green tea leaves required a high concentration of 50% used tea leaf extracts. Furthermore, our results suggested that used tea leaves suppress histamine production and that the inhibitory effects vary according to different extracts. Based on these findings, we propose that (i) a more rapid detection method for histamine should be established and (ii) used tea leaf extracts may have applications in the storage and processing of foods associated with an undesirable production of histamine.

  • Faster detection of histamine production can be achieved with lower indicator concentrations.

  • Inhibition of histamine production was caused by 50% used tea leaf extracts.

  • A new method for recycling tea as a food industry waste is proposed.

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