Dominika Maciejewska, Agnieszka Łukomska, Karolina Jakubczyk, Irena Baranowska-Bosiacka, Ewa Stachowska, Dariusz Chlubek, Izabela Gutowska


Introduction: Yerba Mate (Ilex paraguariensis) is one of the most widely consumed teas in South America. It is becoming more and more popular in North America and Europe. The aim of the study was a qualitative and quantitative analysis of the fatty acids from the omega 6 and omega 3 families in Yerba Mate teas.

Methods: There were two types of infusions – cold and hot (three brews from the same leaves). Yerba Mate was incubated for 10 min, then 2 mL of the brew was taken for isolation. Fatty acids were extracted by the Folch method. The resulting fatty acid methyl esters were analyzed using gas chromatography.

Results: The analysis of fatty acids in the infusions of Yerba Mate showed a significant amount of linoleic acid (LA) and alpha-linolenic acids (ALA). The concentrations of these acids present in fresh infusions were approx. 250 ug/mL for infusion of LA, and 600 ug/mL infusion for ALA. With the subsequent brew using the same leaves the amount of fatty acids decreased significantly (p < 0.01).

Conclusions: Drinking Yerba Mate can supply ALA and LA, which are essential in a well-balanced diet. For individuals who regularly consume Yerba Mate, it can be an important source of polyunsaturated fatty acids (PUFA) supplementation. The most preferred way to brew the tea is cold infusion, which delivers the highest dose of unchanged PUFAs. This method of brewing also reduces the gastrointestinal exposure to high temperature, and thus reduces the risk of cancer incidence.


alpha-linolenic acid; linoleic acid; Yerba Mate; omega 3, omega 6

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