New guide helps industry make sense of newly-developed quality grading system for Honeybush tea 

5 August 2021


GUIDE_COVER_AUG_21.jpgLast year (2020), a quality grading and assessment system for fermented honeybush tea was developed – the first standardised tool of its kind available for use by South Africa's local indigenous tea industry. Researchers involved have now written a 39-page illustrated guide containing detailed notes on how those in the industry involved in in quality control, marketing, research and development can at best use the newly-developed quality grading system and accompanying sensory tools such as the e-scorecard, colour reference card, aroma lexicon and chemical reference standards.

The manual is titled Grading of fermented honeybush tea: an illustrated guide. Its compilation, as well as the roll-out of the grading system via training workshops to industry members, was made possible through funding provided by the DSI/ARC Honeybush Project.

The grading system itself stems from research done by Dr Brigitte du Preez as part of her PhD in Food Science degree. Her research work was supported financially by the Western Cape Department of Agriculture. Dr du Preez graduated in December 2020 from Stellenbosch University.

Dr Du Preez is therefore also one of the co-authors of the illustrated guide, along with Prof Lizette Joubert and Prof Dalene de Beer of the Agricultural Research Council (ARC) Infruitec-Nietvoorbij, and Nina Muller and Dr Erika Moelich of the Department of Food Science at Stellenbosch University.

The publication is endorsed by the South African Honeybush Tea Association.

"This guide is printed on longer-lasting laminated paper, to ensure that it does not damage easily when people are doing tastings" says one of the DSI/ARC Honeybush Project leaders, Prof Lizette Joubert of the Agricultural Research Council Infruitec-Nietvoorbij.

The manual was officially launched during a workshop which was held on 15 June 2021 at the Sensory Research Facility at Stellenbosch University's Department of Food Science. It was attended by eight quality control officers from six honeybush tea processing and/or packing companies in South Africa.

"Similar workshops are being planned for the rest of 2021, thereby affording the honeybush tea industry with the necessary tools for effective quality control,", says Prof Joubert.

For further information, contact Prof Lizette Joubert at joubertl@arc.agric.za