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Wednesday, January 18, 2006

'Tea cola' boasts health benefits

India is aiming to give the world‘s cola giants a run for their money-with a new exotic soft drink.

The Indian cola was concocted by scientists using tea extracts.

The new Indian “tea cola“ is made using traditional Assamese tea.

So far, two varieties have been developed-one made from the extracts of black tea and the other from green tea.

It is likely to be on the shelves in six months and will cost half the price of popular soft drinks.

What is unique about this Indian cola is that the drink boasts the wide-ranging health benefits of traditional tea.

Dr Pradeep Tamuli, In-charge-Biochemistry, Tocklai Tea Experimentation Station, Assam, said, “This tea cola has got high anti-oxidant properties so it will act against stress. People suffering from stress, they (develop) certain toxic molecules. And it acts against the toxic molecules, specially the toxic oxidants they have developed.“

The Tocklai Tea Experimentation Station in India‘s northeastern Assam state is the world‘s biggest facility for research into tea.

It took scientists there three years to concoct the tea cola, and although a patent is still pending, the research facility is already marketing the drink to the health conscious.

China and Japan have introduced similar drinks-but the Indian researchers claim to have the edge.

Dr. Tamuli said: “We have the advantage over them…that the taste of our tea soft drinks is comparatively better to Japanese and Chinese because of the special chemical constituents of Assam tea. Because Assam tea is famous for the liquor.“

Local traders say the tea cola will add some fizz to the tea industry in Assam .

Upen Dutta, a tea trader, said: “In the future, the tea cola will not only prove immensely beneficial to the consumer, it will also help rescue the recession in Assam‘s once vibrant tea industry. The sagging industry here will get a new life.”

There are several other tea-products in the pipeline, including the world‘s first chewable tea pill and tea cake for the serious tea enthusiast. The marketing department at the Tocklai Tea Experimentation Centre says people are tired of boring old tea in a cup.

Source: The Asian Pacific Post

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