Pu-erh tea, SEM

Pu-erh tea, SEM

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Credit: SCIMAT/SCIENCE PHOTO LIBRARY

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Caption: Dark Pu-erh (also spelled Pu'er) tea is produced in China using Aspergillus foetidus var. acidus to ferment the tea leaves. Unlike Aspergillus niger, which it resembles, A. acidus does not contain mycotoxins ochratoxin A and fumonisins B2 and B4. The production is a lengthy process: e.g. a ripened Pu'er produced in early 2004 was pressed in the winter of 2004/2005, and appeared on the market between late 2005 and early 2006. The tea has in vitro antimicrobial properties against many microorganisms. Enhanced SEM shows several stomata in the darkened tea leaves (oval openings) and fragments of the leaves as well as fungal hyphae. Image width: 134.8 micrometers. Magnification: 742x if the image is printed 10 cm wide.

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Keywords: antimicrobial, aspergillus acidus, aspergillus foetidus var. acidus, aspergillus niger, china, chinese, dark, fermentation, fermented, fumonisins, fungal, fungus, hyphae, leaf, leaves, micrograph, microscopy, mycotoxins, ochratoxin, province, pu-erh, puer, ripening, scanning electron microscope, sem, spores, stoma, stomata, tea, yunnan

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