Tannin Removal

Tannin removal from tea improves taste and reduces teeth staining or indigestion

Bitter tea tannins can cause tooth discolouration, affect tea taste, and protein digestion. Our food-safe, low-cost tannin removal concept will reduce bad health and taste impacts.


Tea tannins are a well known class of poly-phenolic compounds, also present in e.g. red wine. Due to their aromatic chemical structure, the compounds have a brown colour. They also exhibit an astringent bitter taste which negatively impacts enjoyment of the complex flavours found in a good cup of freshly prepared tea. Polyphenols are composed of repeating chemical motives made up of aromatic rings and oxygen atoms which give tannins specific chemical characteristics which can be exploited to their selective removal. Like the enamel of teeth which selectively absorbs tannins, but not flavours, porous coated absorption materials can selectively remove the tannins from tea without removing flavours. The materials can be included in tea bags or filters and will not contaminate the tea itself.

Key Benefits

Reduced tannin content of tea can be expected to reduce the otherwise observable staining of teeth, the adverse effect on complex tea flavours due to the bitterness of tannins, and prevent some of the impacts tannins have on nutrition absorption, in particular proteins, in some individuals. Commercially, this would be a clear differentiator for Twinings, offer the opportunity of launching value-add brands, and add IP protection as a barrier to competition.


Tannin removal materials could be included in tea bags or as part of a tea filter device. Additionally, tannin removal stirrers could remove tannin independently of tea supply, however, this risks to de-couple the tannin removal benefits from the Twining brand. A sub-licence could be envisaged to treat other tannin containing liquid foods, such as red wine. However, in the context of especially red wine, the bitterness of tannins is often seen as a beneficial addition to taste. White wines might present an application, especially if not all tannins were removed.

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