ISSN 2308-4057 (Печать),
ISSN 2310-9599 (Онлайн)

Instant tea from Condonopsis javanica L. root extract via spray drying

Introduction. Codonopsis javanica L. root is a gingsen-like medicinal material with valuable bioactive compounds and alkaloids in its composition. However, the diversification of commercial products from Codonopsis javanica root extract is limited and poorly represented on the market. This study presents a new production process of an instant tea product from Codonopsis javanica root extract, which involved spray drying with maltodextrin as a drying additive.
Study objects and methods. The research featured different process parameters including a drying additive concentration, a drying temperature, and a feed flow rate. Moisture content and drying yield were selected as the main outcomes.
Results and discussion. In general, the improved drying yield was associated with an increased drying additive concentration, a lower drying temperature, and a higher feed flow rate. The best drying yield (78.35%) was obtained at the drying additive concentration of 30% (w/w), the drying temperature of 140°C, and the feed flow rate of 300 mL/h. The total saponin content in the product was 0.29% (w/w), and the ABTS free radical scavenging ability reached 59.48 μgAA/g. The obtained powder was spherical and exhibited fairly uniform particle morphology with shriveled and concave outer surface.
Conclusion. The research results justified the use of Codonopsis javanica as an ingredient in beverage industry and suggested maltodextrin as an appropriate substrate for spray-drying natural extracts.
Ключевые слова
Codonopsis javanica, root extract, instant tea, spray drying, maltodextrin, process optimization, antioxidant activity, saponin

Codonopsis javanica L., known in Vietnamese as “Dangsam”, is a member of the Campanulaceae family. It grows in the shade of trees and produces bell-shaped flowers [1–3]. C. javanica is a popular traditional herbal medicine in China. In Vietnam, it can be found in 14 mountainous Northern provinces, particularly in Lang Son, Cao Bang, Ha Giang, Lao Cai, and Son La, at the height of 500–1600 m above the sea level. It also grows in the highland areas of Southern provinces, including Quang Nam, Lam Dong, and Kon Tum, at an altitude of 1500 m [4, 5]. The habitats include pastureland, woodland edge in mountainous regions, hill slopes, and upland areas [6].

C. javanica contains valuable bioactive compounds and exhibits numerous pharmaceutical properties. Its root is known to contain glucose, essential oil, fatty substances, and alkaloids [7]. Past studies that employed nuclear magnetic resonance also registered codotubulosins A and B, adenosine and 5-(hydroxymethyl) furfural in quaternary ammonium alkaloids in the C. javanica roots [8]. Codonopsis roots contain such substances as polysaccharides, saponins, alkaloids, and phytosteroids, which significantly contribute to the pharmacological efficacy of the plant material [9, 10].

Extracts of C. Javanica or other species of codonopsis were used to treat diabetes and other illnesses [11–13]. They also possess strong antifatigue, antioxidant, antimicrobial, antitumor, and immuneboosting properties [14–17]. In in vitro experiments, C. javanica extract showed mutagenic, antimutagenic, anticancer, and antitumor properties against various human cell lines [18]. Polysaccharides from C. javanica were demonstrated to protect mice with cerebral ischemia-reperfusion injury [19]. Another experiment also proved the antilarval properties of C. javanica aqueous extract against Aedes albopictus pupae, a vector of Dengue fever [20].

In Vietnamese traditional medicine, C. javanica root is used to treat a number of disorders related to digestive and respiratory system [7]. Similar uses of C. javanica root were also reported in Chinese traditional medicine, the most popular preparation method being decoction or tea brewing [21]. As a result of the recent interest in health beneficial natural ingredients, plant extracts with functional properties are often included in instant tea formulations [22]. Instant tea formulation has the advantage of favorable aroma, stimulating effect, and convenience. To avoid degradation, the final moisture content of instant tea powder samples is approximately 3–5% [23].

The research objective was to investigate the parameters of instant tea production from C. javanica root extracts by spray drying. The parameters under analysis included moisture, drying yield, total saponin content, and antioxidant activity.


Condonopsis javanica L. roots were purchased from the local farmers in the province of Kon Tum, Vietnam. They were harvested during the winter season at the age of two years. Then the roots were cut into smaller pieces, and their moisture content was reduced from 80.16% to 8.17% in a drying oven (Memmert UN110, Germany). The dried roots were mechanically powdered. Afterwards, 60% ethanol by volume was added to the powder in the amount of 40 mL per 1 g. The suspension was then subjected to hydrodistillation for 4 h at 60°C. Water was removed with a rotary evaporator until the weight of the solid in the extract was 40.3%. We obtained 65.75 g of dried extract from 100 g of input root powder. After multiple runs, the accumulated extract was stored in a cooler for spray drying.

To obtain instant tea, a drying additive (maltodextrin) was completely dissolved in 500 mL of distilled water and left at room temperature overnight. The solution was then mixed with the prepared C. javanica root extract at an appropriate ratio and then with Tween 80. The amount of the added Tween 80 equaled 5% of the weight of the prepared C. javanica root extract. After that, the mix was stirred at 6000 rpm for 20 min in a rotor-stator blender to allow emulsion formation. About 800 mL of the mix was then put into a lab-scale spray dryer (Pilotech YC-015 Mini Spray Dryer). The first single-factor investigation involved the effect of drying additive concentration on the properties of the product. The main spray drying parameters were the following: drying temperature = 140°C, feed rate = 120 mL/h. The dry powder collected was placed in the airtight glass bottle at 25°C for further examination.

The moisture content of the product was determined using the AOAC International (AOAC, 2007) method. The sample was dried in an oven at 105°C till constant weight. The dried sample was then measured for weight loss (%) and the moisture content (%) [24].

To determine drying yield, we used the following formula [25]:

where m1 is the weight of the feed solution, g; m2 is the weight of the powder obtained by spray drying; x is solids, %; and y is the moisture content of the obtained powder product.

ABTS scavenging activity was determined using the method previously described by Pham et al. and Mradu et al. [26, 27]. To prepare the stock solution, 10 mL of 7.4 mM ABTS solution was dropped to 10 mL of 2.6 mM K2S2O8 and kept at room temperature without exposure to light for 15 h for subsequent use. One milliliter of stock solution was diluted with 60 mL of methanol to get an absorbance value of 1.1 ± 0.02 at 734 nm to produce the working solution. Then 0.5 mL of the extract was added to 1.5 mL of the working solution and kept in darkness for 30 min at room temperature. A UV-VIS spectrophotometer recorded the absorbance of the mix at 734 nm. Ascorbic acid was used as a standard, and the results were expressed as μg ascorbic acid equivalents per gram of dried sample (μgAA/g).

To determine saponin content, 1 g of dried sample was finely powdered and solubilized in 20 mL of 20% isopropanol. The mixture was then heated in a microwave at 86°C for 20 min. The obtained mix was then filtered using Whatman paper for further quantitative purpose.

The saponin content was assessed spectrophotometrically as reported by Jennifer et al., with minor modifications [28]. Briefly, 3.5 mL of the Liebermann ‒ Burchards (LB) reagent, consisting of a 1:5 mix of acetic acid and sulfuric acid, was added to 1 mL of sample solution. If saponins were present, the sample solution fluoresced with yellow. The saponin content in the solution was then quantified by measuring its absorbance at 580 nm. The following calibration curve describes the relationship between absorbance and saponin concentration:

Absorbance (mg/mL) = 4.5725 × Concentration of saponins (mg/mL) + 0.0164.

Total saponins were calculated on the fresh weight basis.

The morphology of the spray-dried powder was studied by a scanning electron microscope (JSM 6300 SEM). The samples were mounted directly on aluminum SEM stubs in carbon conductive tape and covered by gold sputtering with a thin layer of gold.

Each measurement was carried out in triplicate. Statgraphic statistics software was used to evaluate the statistical data (Statpoint Technologies, version 20, Inc., Warrenton, VA, USA). The variance analysis (ANOVA) and the least significant difference (LSD) were calculated to compare the mean value of the film properties with P = 0.05.


We determined the moisture and texture of powdered tea from Condopopsis javanica L. root extract obtained at various maltodextrin concentrations (Table 1). High concentrations seemed to result in the product with lower moisture and minor agglomerate formation.

Table 1Moisture and texture of C. javanica instant tea at various maltodextrin concentrations

Figure 1 Drying yield of instant tea from C. javanica root extract at different maltodextrin concentrations

Fig. 1 shows the dependence of drying yield on maltodextrin concentration. These impacts on drying yield were statistically significant (P < 0.05), as displayed by the one-way ANOVA analysis. Further LSD multiple range tests for drying yield values pointed out differences among the yields obtained at five distinct concentrations (15, 20, 25, 30, 35%). The highest drying yield (75.68%) was attained at the 30% concentration of maltodextrin. Generally, DY was directly proportional to the concentration that rose from 15% to 30%. This can be explained by the effect of exterior-active carbohydrates of maltodextrin, which attach with volatile compounds in the extracts [29]. As a result, higher concentrations of drying additives could support the remaining volatiles and simultaneously increase spray drying yield. As noted by Nunes and Mercadante, the high concentration of the drying additive (35% w/w) resulted in a caramelization reaction that produced furanones, furans, pyrones, and carbocyclic, thus reducing drying yield [30]. Due to the economical characteristic of maltodextrin, we used 30% of maltodextrin in the subsequent tests.

Table 2 shows the texture and moisture of the microcapsules obtained at different drying temperatures. Since an elevated temperature led to products with lower moisture content, we examined an effect of drying temperature on drying yield (Fig. 2). The results were statistically significant (P < 0.05), as displayed by the one-way ANOVA analysis. Further LSD multiple range tests for drying yield pointed out well-defined differences among the yields obtained at different temperatures (140, 160, 180, 200°C). The greatest drying yield (75.68%) was achieved at 140°C. As the temperature rose from 140 to 200°C, drying yield decreased.

Table 2 Moisture and texture of instant tea from C. javanica root extract at different drying temperatures

Figure 2 Drying yield of instant tea from C. javanica root extract at different drying temperatures

As previously mentioned, high inlet/outlet temperature (140°C) led to a caramelization reaction, thus decreasing drying yield [29]. Jafari et al. demonstrated that a relatively high inlet air temperature (160–220°C) may cause thermal damage to a dry substance, leading to a rapid development of semipermeable membrane on the droplet surface [31]. These results are similar to the studies conducted by Fernandes et al. and Cortés-Camargo et al. [32, 33]. Considering the drying yield results, we decided to use the drying temperature of 140°C in out further experiments.

Table 3 demonstrates the moisture and texture of the instant tea at different feed flow rates. An increased feed flow rate improved the moisture in the obtained product. We then examined these differences of feed flow rate with respect to drying yields, as shown in Fig. 3. These impacts on drying yield were statistically significant (P < 0.05), as indicated by the one-way ANOVA analysis. In addition, the yields obtained at different particular feed flow rates (120, 180, 240, 300 mL/h) were statistically different. The largest drying yield (79.47%) was achieved at 300 mL/h. Generally, as the feed flow rate rose from 120 to 300 mL/h, drying yield increased.

Table 3 Moisture and texture of instant tea from C. javanica root extract at different feed flow rates

Figure 3 Drying yield of instant tea from C. javanica root extract at different feed flow rates

Jumah et al. showed that the feed flow rate was faster at droplet atomization stage, which led to larger droplets. These droplets contained a high content of water and, subsequently, resulted in high moisture content in the powdered product [33]. In addition, a higher feed flow rate increased drying yield. This could be explained by the fact that a higher feed flow rate and higher drying rates could reduce the dehydration time of the powder. On the other hand, a low moisture powder is usually mixed with exhaust air, presenting difficulties for cyclonic separation [35]. These results are similar to the studies conducted by Suzana F. Alves et al. and Tomazelli Júnior et al. [36, 37]. Considering the drying yield results, we chose the feed flow rate of 300 mL/h as optimal for further experiments.

Fig. 4 demonstrates the SEM photographs shrunk to microscopic scale of C. javanica instant tea obtained with 30% (w/w) concentration of maltodextrin at 140°C. The particles had a comparatively regular shape and no visible breaks or ruptures were observed, proposing a satisfactory core retention and barrier of the microcapsules. At low drying temperature, the shape of the obtained particles was typically spherical with a shriveled and concave outer surface, indicating that the low drying temperature clearly provides a better core ingredient protection [38, 39]. Some particles demonstrated a smooth and rigid outer surface due to quick evaporation. Therefore, the optimal drying temperature for instant tea production from C. Javanica root extracts using maltodextrin as a drying additive was 140°C.

Figure 4 SEM images of instant tea from C. javanica root extract

We evaluated the saponin content and free radical scavenging ability of the C. javanica extract and its powder obtained by spray drying (Table 4). The results showed that the saponin content in the extract was higher than that in the powdered tea by 0.29%. The original extract appeared to exert more scavenging activity on ABTS free positive radicals with the total antioxidant value at 168.88 μgAA/g. Meanwhile, after spray drying, the total antioxidant value decreased, as expressed by the reduced free radical capture activity. This implies that saponin in the C. Javanica extract had the proton accept capacity and could serve as inhibitor of free radical and, probably, as a primary antioxidant [1].

Table 4 Total saponin content and free radical scavenging ability in instant tea from C. javanica root extract


In the present study, we produced instant tea from Condopopsis javanica L. root extract via spray drying. The maximum yield reached 78.35% at the concentration of maltodextrin used as a drying additive of 30% (w/w), the drying temperature of 140°C, and the feed rate of 300 mL/h. The resulting instant tea products had a high total saponin content (0.29%, w/w) and a good free radical scavenging ability (59.48 μgAA/g). Therefore, the using of C. javanica root extract to produce instant tea is beneficial to commercialize the products for the beverage market. Further studies are required to evaluate the sensory properties of the powdered product and examine the economic feasibility of the spray drying process.

The authors declare that there is no conflict of interests regarding the publication of this article.
This study was financially supported by Kon Tum Department of Science and Technology, Kon Tum Province, Vietnam.
  1. Chen K-N, Peng W-H, Hou C-W, Chen C-Y, Chen H-H, Kuo C-H, et al. Codonopsis javanica root extracts attenuate hyperinsulinemia and lipid peroxidation in fructose-fed insulin resistant rats. Journal of Food and Drug Analysis. 2013;21(4):347–355. DOI:
  2. Hoi TM, Dai DN, Ha CTT, Anh HV, Ogunwande IA. Essential oil constituents from the leaves of Anoectochilus setaceus, Codonopsis javanica and Aristolochia kwangsiensis from vietnam. Records of Natural Products. 2019;13(3):281–286. DOI:
  3. Sun Q-L, Li Y-X, Cui Y-S, Jiang S-L, Dong C-X, Du J. Structural characterization of three polysaccharides from the roots of Codonopsis pilosula and their immunomodulatory effects on RAW264.7 macrophages. International Journal of Biological Macromolecules. 2019;130:556–563. DOI:
  4. Nguyen X-Q, Le A-D, Nguyen N-P, Nguyen H. Thermal diffusivity, moisture diffusivity, and color change of Codonopsis javanica with the support of the ultrasound for drying. Journal of Food Quality. 2019;2019. DOI:
  5. He J-Y, Ma N, Zhu S, Komatsu K, Li Z-Y, Fu W-M. The genus Codonopsis (Campanulaceae): a review of phytochemistry, bioactivity and quality control. Journal of Natural Medicines. 2015;69(1):1–21. DOI:
  6. Ren J, Lin Z, Yuan Z. Tangshenosides from Codonopsis lanceolata roots. Phytochemistry Letters. 2013;6(4):567–569. DOI:
  7. Lim TK. Codonopsis javanica. In: Lim TK, editor. Edible medicinal and non medicinal plants. Volume 9, Modified Stems, Roots, Bulbs. Dordrecht: Springer; 2015. pp. 870–873. DOI:
  8. Li C-Y, Xu H-X, Han Q-B, Wu T-S. Quality assessment of Radix Codonopsis by quantitative nuclear magnetic resonance. Journal of Chromatography A. 2009;1216(11):2124–2129. DOI:
  9. Han AY, Lee YS, Kwon S, Lee HS, Lee K-W, Seol GH. Codonopsis lanceolata extract prevents hypertension in rats. Phytomedicine. 2018;39:119–124. DOI:
  10. Wang Q, Xu C, Pan K-Y, Hong D-Y. Which family? – morphological and phylogenetic analyses of the enigmatic genus Numaeacampa (Campanulaceae). Kew Bulletin. 2017;72(2). DOI:
  11. Wang Q, Zhou S-L, Hong D-Y. Molecular phylogeny of the platycodonoid group (Campanulaceae s. str.) with special reference to the circumscription of Codonopsis. Taxon. 2013;62(3):498–504. DOI:
  12. Nguyen VTT, Ho TLD, Phan KTA. In vitro propagation of Codonopsis javania (Blume) Hook. f. et Thomson through the callus induction. Science and Technology Development Journal – Natural Sciences. 2018;2(4):56–61. DOI:
  13. Gao S-M, Liu J-S, Wang M, Cao T-T, Qi Y-D, Zhang B-G, et al. Traditional uses, phytochemistry, pharmacology and toxicology of Codonopsis: A review. Journal of Ethnopharmacology. 2018;219:50–70. DOI:
  14. Ijaz S, Haq IU, Babar M. Jukes-cantor evolutionary model based phylogenetic relationship of economically important ornamental palms using maximum likelihood approach. Applied Ecology and Environmental Research. 2019;17(6):14859–14865. DOI:
  15. Park SJ, Seong DH, Park DS, Kim SS, Gou J, Ahn JH, et al. Chemical compositions of fermented Codonopsis lanceolata. Journal of the Korean Society of Food Science and Nutrition. 2009;38(3):396–400. DOI:
  16. Sun Y, Liu J. Structural characterization of a water-soluble polysaccharide from the Roots of Codonopsis pilosula and its immunity activity. International Journal of Biological Macromolecules. 2008;43(3):279–282. DOI:
  17. Nguyen MTT, Awale S, Tezuka Y, Le Tran Q, Watanabe H, Kadota S. Xanthine oxidase inhibitory activity of vietnamese medicinal plants. Biological and Pharmaceutical Bulletin. 2004;27(9):1414–1421. DOI:
  18. Kim S-H, Choi H-J, Chung MJ, Cui C-B, Ham S-S. Antimutagenic and antitumor effects of codonopsis lanceolata extracts. Journal of the Korean Society of Food Science and Nutrition. 2009;38(10):1295–1301. DOI:
  19. Xue J, Zhang X, Zhang C, Kang N, Liu X, Yu J, et al. Protective effect of Naoxintong against cerebral ischemia reperfusion injury in mice. Journal of Ethnopharmacology. 2016;182:181–189. DOI:
  20. Macchioni F, Carugini S, Cecchi F, Siciliano T, Braca A, Cioni P, et al. Aqueous extract of Codonopsis javanica against larval and pupal stages of Aedes albopictus. Annali della Facoltà di Medicina veterinaria. 2004;57:215–220.
  21. Wang Z, Qi F, Cui Y, Zhao L, Sun X, Tang W, et al. An update on Chinese herbal medicines as adjuvant treatment of anticancer therapeutics. BioScience Trends. 2018;12(3):220–239. DOI:
  22. Cabrera C, Artacho R, Giménez R. Beneficial effects of green tea – A review. Journal of the American College of Nutrition. 2006;25(2):79–99. DOI:
  23. Zhang Y-H, Chen G-S, Chen J-X, Liu Z-Q, Yu L-Y, Yin J-F, et al. Effects of β-cyclodextrin and sodium ascorbate on the chemical compositions and sensory quality of instant green tea powder during storage. Journal of Chemistry. 2019;2019. DOI:
  24. Kalušević AM, Lević SM, Čalija BR, Milić JR, Pavlović VB, Bugarski BM, et al. Effects of different carrier materials on physicochemical properties of microencapsulated grape skin extract. Journal of Food Science and Technology. 2017;54(11):3411–3420. DOI:
  25. Jafari SM, Ghalenoei MG, Dehnad D. Influence of spray drying on water solubility index, apparent density, and anthocyanin content of pomegranate juice powder. Powder Technology. 2017;311:59–65. DOI:
  26. Pham HNT, Tang Nguyen V, Van Vuong Q, Bowyer MC, Scarlett CJ. Bioactive compound yield and antioxidant capacity of Helicteres hirsuta Lour. stem as affected by various solvents and drying methods. Journal of Food Processing and Preservation. 2017;41(1). DOI:
  27. Gupta M, Karmakar N, Sasmal S. In vitro antioxidant activity of aqueous and alcoholic extracts of polyherbal formulation consisting of Ficus glomerata Roxb. and Symplocos racemosa Roxb. stem bark assessed in free radical scavenging assays. International Journal of Pharmacognosy and Phytochemical Research. 2017;9(2). DOI:
  28. Fiallos-Jurado J, Pollier J, Moses T, Arendt P, Barriga-Medina N, Morillo E, et al. Saponin determination, expression analysis and functional characterization of saponin biosynthetic genes in Chenopodium quinoa leaves. Plant Science. 2016;250:188–197. DOI:
  29. Lan Y, Xu M, Ohm J-B, Chen B, Rao J. Solid dispersion-based spray-drying improves solubility and mitigates beany flavour of pea protein isolate. Food Chemistry. 2019;278:665–673. DOI:
  30. Nunes IL, Mercadante AZ. Encapsulation of lycopene using spray-drying and molecular inclusion processes. Brazilian Archives of Biology and Technology. 2007;50(5):893–900. DOI:
  31. Jafari SM, Assadpoor E, He Y, Bhandari B. Encapsulation efficiency of food flavours and oils during spray drying. Drying Technology. 2008;26(7):816–835. DOI:
  32. Fernandes RVD, Borges SV, Botrel DA. Influence of spray drying operating conditions on microencapsulated rosemary essential oil properties. Food Science and Technology. 2013;33:171–178.
  33. Cortés-Camargo S, Cruz-Olivares J, Barragán-Huerta BE, Dublán-García O, Román-Guerrero A, Pérez-Alonso C. Microencapsulation by spray drying of lemon essential oil: Evaluation of mixtures of mesquite gum–nopal mucilage as new wall materials. Journal of Microencapsulation. 2017;34(4):395–407. DOI:
  34. Jumah RY, Tashtoush B, Shaker RR, Zraiy AF. Manufacturing parameters and quality characteristics of spray dried jameed. Drying Technology. 2000;18(4–5):967–984. DOI:
  35. Dantas D, Pasquali MA, Cavalcanti-Mata M, Duarte ME, Lisboa HM. Influence of spray drying conditions on the properties of avocado powder drink. Food Chemistry. 2018;266:284–291. DOI:
  36. Alves SF, Borges LL, dos Santos TO, de Paula JR, Conceição EC, Bara MTF. Microencapsulation of essential oil from fruits of Pterodon emarginatus using gum arabic and maltodextrin as wall materials: composition and stability. Drying Technology. 2014;32(1):96–105. DOI:
  37. Tomazelli Júnior O, Kuhn F, Padilha PJM, Vicente LRM, Costa SW, Boligon AA, et al. Microencapsulation of essential thyme oil by spray drying and its antimicrobial evaluation against Vibrio alginolyticus and Vibrio parahaemolyticus. Brazilian Journal of Biology. 2017;78(2):311–317. DOI:
  38. Rubiano KD, Cárdenas JA, Ciro VHJ. Encapsulation of d-limonene flavors using spray drying: Effect of the addition of emulsifiers. Ingeniería y competitividad. 2015;17(2):77–89.
  39. Vergara C, Pino MT, Zamora O, Parada J, Pérez R, Uribe M, et al. Microencapsulation of anthocyanin extracted from purple flesh cultivated potatoes by spray drying and its effects on in vitro gastrointestinal digestion. Molecules. 2020;25(3). DOI:
Как цитировать?
Nhan NPT, Vu ND, Thanh LV, Phuong TTM, Bach LG, Toan TQ. Instant tea from Condonopsis javanica L. root extract via spray drying. Foods and Raw Materials. 2020;8(2):385–391. DOI:
О журнале