A Tea Research Institute of Sri Lanka (TRI) study conducted on “Theaflavins in Black Tea” has found that it could help control and combat the coronavirus.
TRI scientific publication under the topic “Antiviral properties of Tea” has noted that drinking Black Tea helps to fight viruses. The hypothesis developed by the scientists say that “Theaflavins” an antioxidant polyphenol richly found in Black Tea could potentially inhibit an enzyme from Corona and increase human immunity.
“However this will need further investigations to establish authenticity,” said Sri Lanka Tea Board and Consultant (Global Promotion), Hasitha de Alwis.
Despite the prevailing challenges some of which are extremely abnormal, he emphasized that tea industry could be exceptional to the extent of striving as “Black Tea” could combat the Covid 19 virus.
He also stated, the tea crop in Sri Lanka declined by 14% from 233 million Kgs 201 million Kgs by end of third quarter 2020 as against the same period of 2019. However, the tea prices fetched at the Colombo Auction appreciated 15% during the same period from Rs. 542 per Kg to Rs 624 per Kg.
The statistics further indicated that Colombo FOB prices on a national average have improved around 5% from Rs. 825 to Rs.860 per Kg this year.
In 2020, tea production was hampered due to a combination of reasons. Commencing from the drought in the fourth quarter 2019 and first quarter 2020, running through head-on to the global pandemic lockdown, further aggravated by the scarcity of fertilizer in the International market depriving a timely intake to the plantation sector.
The last quarter of 2020 will bring upon the industry stakeholders additional burdens and hurdles due to the second wave of Coronavirus.
“Nevertheless, the tea industry has overcome most of the tough challenges throughout its track record, despite the production fluctuations.”