Standards of Tea
Tea is generally assessed for its quality by professional tea tasters. The tasters base their judgment on their previous experience of tea from the producing area and their knowledge of regional conditions and preferences. However, need for chemical analysis also arises when there is a suspicion that the product has been adulterated or it shows certain characteristics that are not normal to tea. Therefore, chemical quality parameters which reflect the intrinsic properties of the product are necessary for the industry.
Indian Standard for Tea to provide the needed guidelines, the Bureau of Indian Standards published IS 3633 ‘Specification for tea’ in 1966, based on extensive analytical data on teas grown and produced in different zones of the country. The requirements specified in original version of this standard did not apply to teas grown in Kangra Valley, Dehra Dun and Nilgiris as adequate data were not available on these teas at that time. Consequently, a number of tea samples were obtained from these regions and analyzed. On the basis of this data, in the second revision published in 1972 it was concluded that Dehra Dun and Nilgiri teas did not require a separate specification. However, at the same time it was recommended to the Government of India that it should explore the possibility of permitting some relaxation in these standards for Himachal Pradesh (including Kangra Valley teas). On the basis of scrutiny of extensive data, this standard was made applicable to both black and green teas. This aspect was highlighted in the second revision published in 1972.
In the preparation of this standard, due consideration has been given to the Prevention of Food Adulteration Act, 1954 and the Rules framed there under and Standards of Weights and Measures (Packaged Commodities) Rules, 1977. The standards, however is, subject to the restrictions imposed under these, wherever applicable. This Indian Standard states that tea shall be clean, free from extraneous matter and added colours and flavours and the tea shall produce a liquor of characteristic flavor.
To provide a yardstick for the assessment of quality of tea through chemical parameters minimum requirements for water extract, water-soluble ash, alkalinity of water soluble ash have been prescribed. To prevent adulteration, maximum limits for total ash and crude fiber have been stipulated. These requirements are aligned with ISO 3720 ‘Black tea – specification’ for all characteristics except water soluble ash and its alkalinity, which are presently under consideration for harmonization in Indian Standard, as third revision, as well as under PFA.
Besides, additional requirements for ECO Marking of the product have also been prescribed in the standard based on the Gazette Notification No.678 dated 30 August 1994 published by the Ministry of Environment and Forests. These include environmental consent clearances from the State Pollution Control Boards. Besides, stringent limits for contaminants namely, lead and iron fillings, have also been specified. In addition, ECO marked products are required to be packed in recyclable, reusable or biodegradable materials.
Test Methods: To ensure that the results of analysis are repeatable and reproducible, test methods should be standardized. International methods, if followed, provide the assurance that the methods have been validated after sufficient trials and are, therefore, reliable. The ISO standards on test methods for tea as well as instant tea have been adopted as Indian Standards under dual numbering system. In the third revision to the Indian Standard for tea, which is presently in the draft stage, all cross references for test method for determination of chemical characteristics have been made to Indian Standards harmonized with corresponding ISO standards, thus harmonizing the test procedures.
Sampling: It is an important aspect of quality control, which provides confidence that a representative sample of the total production has been inspected against the safety and quality parameters. Tea is traded in different quantities and containers. To ensure that a sample is representative of the consignment, the number of containers to be sampled and procedure of random sampling has to be given. Procedure for taking primary samples and preparing bulk and laboratory sample conforming with international practices is prescribed in IS 3611:2000, Which is harmonized with corresponding ISO standard, under dual numbering. Instant tea in solid form is generally packed and transported in bulk in sealed bags of moisture-resistant material (that is, an immediate container), protected by an outer container. Owing to the hygroscopic nature and friability of the product, special precautions need to be taken in order to ensure that the drawing of samples does not adversely affect the sample itself or the remainder of the lot. Sampling procedures for instant tea in solid form harmonized with ISO 7516 have also been adopted as IS 13861.
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The Pesticide Residue Division is equipped with state-of-art instruments viz., Gas Chromatograph, High Performance Liquid Chromatograph, GCMS, Atomic Absorption Spectrophotometer, etc., Our lab is GLP certified by National GLP Compliance Monitoring Authority, Govt. of India for the execution of Pesticide Residue Studies. We are accredited…Read More
01/01/2020 @ 12:20 pm
Advertisement for the post of Assistants UPASI Tea Research Foundation is seeking applications from eligible candidates with dynamic, energetic and innovative qualities for the following vacant positions at UPASI Tea Research Institute, Valparai. The interested candidates are requested to send their application with a brief…Read More
Monthly Circular April -2014 WEATHER Weather data recorded in March 2014 at the TRF observatory are given below, along with the corresponding figures for March 2013. Year Total Rainfall mm Mean Sunshine hr/day Mean Temperature ° C Mean Relative Humidity % at Mean Evaporation…Read More
14-May-2019 Sealed quotations are invited from the concerned suppliers for the following lab instrument with specifications. The quotations may be sent to the Director, UPASI Tea Research Foundation – Tea Research Institute, Nirar Dam P.O. Valparai 642 127 to reach on or before 31st May…Read More
Ajaikumar, S., Siby Mathew, R. Raj Kumar and P. Mohan Kumar (2014). Mechanical harvesting in tea: A case study of Pasuparai estate. Journal of Plantation Crops. 42(2): 201-214. Ajay, D. and Baby, U.I. 2010. Induction of systemic resistance to Exobasidium vexans in tea through SAR…Read More
The principal landmark in the history of tea research in south India, was the establishment of a Tea Experimental Station in Gudalur in 1926. During the last seven and half decades, this research organisation. Now known as the UPASI Tea Research Foundation (UPASI TRF), had…Read More
Annual Report is the one among the major publications of UPASI TRF. Annual report of each year is released by September of the following year. Other publications include Research Highlights and half yearly Newsletters. The Bulletin of UPASI TRF is an occasional publication. The Handbook…Read More
DATE: 10-12 December 2014
PLACE: KozhikodeRead More
Research Extension Meeting
DATE: 06-08 May 2013
PLACE: ValparaiRead More
JOINT AREA SCIENTIFIC SYMPOSIA (JASS)
INTERNATIONAL TEA CONVENTION
Dr.C.S. Venkata Ram Annual Tea Colloquium
DATE: 1 August 2013
PLACE: VALPARAIRead More
INTERACTIVE SESSIONS / WORKSHOPS
PLACE: VALPARAIRead More
PLATINUM JUBILEE SYMPOSIUM
PLACE: ChennaiRead More
PLANTATION CROPS SYMPOSIUM 2014
UPASI ANNUAL CONFERENCE
DATE: September 2013
PLACE: CoonoorRead More
Of late, considering the constant usage of pesticides and to monitor the residues in the final produce, a well equipped test facility was established at UPASI TRI in 1994. The pesticide residue laboratory is accredited by National Accreditation Board for testing and calibration Laboratories (NABL)…Read More
The Tea Research Institute at Valparai has seven divisions namely Botany, Soil Chemistry, Entomology, Pesticide Residue, Plant Pathology & Microbiology, Plant Physiology & Biotechnology and Tea Technology. Botany Research activities of Botany Division include plant improvement, cultivation practices and weed research. Plant improvement programme was…Read More
Chemistry Division is involved in research pertaining to soil-plant nutrients of tea besides extending analytical service to the industry. The research activities include investigations on physico-chemical properties of soil, soil-plant interactions, response of tea to major, secondary and micronutrients and their interactions. The research work…Read More
Entomology Division involve in basic and applied aspects of insect pests, particularly, biology, ecology and evolving control measures. The division evolved and recommended physical, chemical and biological method of tea pests control. In the past, extensive studies on bioecology, crop loss due to major pests…Read More
Pathology & Microbiology
In the division of Plant Pathology & Microbiology, research is carried out on diseases of tea and biofertilizers. Among the tea diseases, blister blight is the most important leaf disease caused by the pathogen, Exobasidium vexans affecting the tender harvestable shoots of tea resulting in…Read More
Physiology & Biotechnology
Plant Physiology Division was established in 1980 which has been primarily concentrated on crop productivity. The division strives for excellence in applied research in tea productivity and bush health besides biotechnological studies. The research undertaken extends over a wide range of research programmes having collaborative…Read More
Besides offering the analytical services and involving in inter laboratory ring test to validate the test methods, Tea Technology Division is concerned about quality of final produce in accordance with PFA Act requirements, storage studies, value added products and manufacturing aspects. The laboratory has been…Read More