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Abstract

EVALUATION OF THE QUALITY OF NATURAL PRODUCTS FOR THE PREPARATION OF CHAMOMILE AND MINT TEA IN COSTA RICA

Jeimy Blanco Barrantes*, Eduviges Bustos Araya, Fabio Granados-Chinchilla, Arlene Loría Gutiérrez

ABSTRACT

In this study, the quality and safety of chamomile and mint tea marketed in Costa Rica were evaluated. Physical and chemical analyses, the presence of toxic substances and pathogenic microorganisms were carried out, to determine whether they comply with local and international legislation. The sample taken was 1360 envelopes of chamomile and 400 sachets of mint, of 22 products available in the market. A 70 % compliance was found concerning the regulation of labeling of natural products applied in Costa Rica. About the total ash test, a compliance rate of 82 % was observed. Regarding the absence of foreign matter, at least 66 % of the samples showed some of the following structures: insect parts, small stones, plastic fragments. About the levels of cadmium and mercury were found two chamomile products that exceed the maximum limit suggested for medicinal herbs by the WHO. Regarding the evaluation of the
microbiological quality of the samples as a criterion of safety, one product was found that exceeds the limit of aerobic bacteria and a 42 % that exceeds the limit of enterobacteria. In the rest of the tests, the products met the specifications. These results highlight the need for quality control of these natural products since not all meet the criteria of quality and safety.

Keywords: Quality, safety, Matricaria chamomilla, Menta piperita, tea.


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