A simple kitchen sink experiment helped Northwestern University researchers discover that green tea leaves not only can be used to steep a good cup of tea, but they make an excellent antibacterial coating, too.
And so can red wine, dark chocolate and cacao beans, they found. It’s the powerful and healthful polyphenols at work in a new way. (Polyphenols are naturally occurring molecules found in plants whose functions include structural support and defense against bacteria and oxidative damage.)
Polyphenols are sticky, and the researchers exploited this useful property, while also retaining some of the compounds’ well-known biological properties. They made new multifunctional coatings based on tannic acid and pyrogallol — inexpensive compounds resembling the more complex polyphenols found in tea, wine and chocolate.
- Promising antibacterial coating created from green tea (gizmag.com)
- Scientists Discover 23 New Molecules in Red Wine: Previously undetected polyphenols may have health benefits (healthsciencewatch.wordpress.com)
- Scientists discover new health-enhancing molecules in red wine (healthsciencewatch.wordpress.com)