TEA QUALITY

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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.

News & Events

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  • Dr. C.S. Venkata Ram Memorial Annual Tea Colloquium-2015

    Dr. C.S. Venkata Ram Memorial Annual Tea Colloquium will be held on July 10, 2015 at Seminar Hall, UPASI Tea Research Foundation, Tea Research Institute, Valparai. The maximum time for presentation is ten minutes followed by discussion. Prizes will be awarded for the best three…

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  • Residue analysis in other crops

    31-05-2013

    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…

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  • Vacancy 2017

    09/06/2016 @ 4:55 pm

    Date of Publish: 12.01.2017 UPASI TEA RESEARCH FOUNDATION TEA RESEARCH INSTITUTE NIRAR DAM P.O. VALPARAI – 642 127   THE POST OF RESEARCH FELLOWS ENTOMOLOGY Project title:  CABI project “Sustainable Tea Production”             Designation of Posts Fellowship Consolidated (Rs.) Relevant Qualifications   Research Fellows (2)…

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  • Monthly circular – April 2014

    07/04/2014

       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…

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  • Quotations & Tenders

    DETAILS OF VEHICLES FOR SALE Sl. No. Make Regn. No. Place Year of Mfg. 1 Suzuki Max 100 R TN 41 F 7245 Valparai 1999 2 Suzuki Max 100 R TN 41 F 7246 Valparai 1999 3 Suzuki Max 100 R TN 41 F 7250…

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Articles

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  • Publications

    09.05.2012

    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…

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  • Latest

    12/12/12

    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…

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  • Publications and Library

    01/02/05

    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…

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Conferences Seminars

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  • PLACROSYM XXI

    DATE:  10-12 December 2014

    PLACE:  Kozhikode

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  • Research Extension Meeting

    DATE:  06-08 May 2013

    PLACE:  Valparai

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  • JOINT AREA SCIENTIFIC SYMPOSIA (JASS)

    DATE:  

    PLACE:  

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  • INTERNATIONAL TEA CONVENTION

    DATE:  

    PLACE:  

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  • TGLIA

    DATE:   2013

    PLACE:  

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  • Dr.C.S. Venkata Ram Annual Tea Colloquium

    DATE:  1 August 2013

    PLACE:  VALPARAI

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  • INTERACTIVE SESSIONS / WORKSHOPS

    DATE:  28/04/2012

    PLACE:  VALPARAI

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  • PLATINUM JUBILEE SYMPOSIUM

    DATE:  2001

    PLACE:  Chennai

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  • PLANTATION CROPS SYMPOSIUM 2014

    DATE:  2014

    PLACE:  

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  • UPASI ANNUAL CONFERENCE

    DATE:  September 2013

    PLACE:  Coonoor

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Research Activities

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  • Pesticide Residue

    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)…

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  • Botany

    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…

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  • Soil Chemistry

    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…

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  • Entomology

    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…

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  • 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…

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  • 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…

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  • Tea Technology

    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…

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