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Chrysanthemum morifolium

Ramat leaf tea processing technology

Chiou-Fang Liu (Assistant Researcher)

Tea Research and Extension Station,Council of Agriculture 


    Chrysanthemum morifolium Ramat is a perennial herb of the genus Compositae, and native to China. Currently, Taiwan's Chrysanthemum morifolium Ramat is mainly cultivated in Tongluo Township of Miaoli County and Taitung City of Taitung County. The cultivation area in 2018 is about 73 hectares, and the output is about 88 metric tons. Under the rigorous control of the agricultural administration unit, the domestic Chrysanthemum morifolium Ramat is required to meet the pesticide residue standards before being harvested and sold. As consumers have preference for the domestic Chrysanthemum morifolium Ramat and the cultivated area is increasing year by year.  

     The main part of Chrysanthemum morifolium Ramat to be used is its flowers, which can be used as Chinese medicine or beverage after drying. Generally, the field planting is carried out after the Tomb Sweeping Festival. From the planting to  August (before the flower-buds appear), farmers will perform multiple topping treatments to promote the growth of lateral buds and increase the number of flowers. After the topping of the farmers, the apical bud-leaves are usually directly discarded in the field (Figure 1, Figure 2).The quantity of fresh apical bud-leaves removed can weigh as much as 7-8 tons per hectare, making it another waste of resources.  

      The Chrysanthemum morifolium Ramat apical bud-leaves is rich in chemical components that are beneficial to the human body, such as total polyphenols, free amino acids, total flavones, and chlorogenic acid. The unprocessed Chrysanthemum morifolium Ramat leaf tea was tasted strong, bitter and hard to drink. After processing tests by TRES, the processing technology of Chrysanthemum morifolium Ramat leaf tea was developed to produce high content of active ingredients, golden and bright tea soup, and sweet taste (Table 1, Figure 3, Figure 4).  

   The apical bud-leaves have a stronger aroma and health ingredients than the flowers. They are raw materials available for food use by the Ministry of Health and Welfare. The production period of leaf tea is from May to August, farmers can harvest early, which reduces the risk of flowers being affected by natural disasters, makes up for the gap in production of flower tea, and increases the income of flower farmers.