In recent years, the scientific community has turned its attention to the further study and application of green chemistry as well as to sustainable development in reducing the consumption of raw materials, solvents, and energy. The application of green chemistry aims to ensure the protection of the environment and to also, consequently, improve the quality of human life. It offers several benefits, both socially and economically. In the last few decades, new alternative non-conventional green extraction methodologies have been developed for the purposes of the extraction of active ingredient compounds from various raw products. The main objective of this literature review is to present the current knowledge and future perspectives regarding the green extraction of tea species in respect of the isolation of safe active biomolecules, which can be used as commercially available products—both as dietary supplements and pharmaceutical formulations. More specifically, in this literature review, the intention is to investigate several different extraction techniques, such as ultrasonic-assisted extraction, ultrasonic-assisted extraction with DESs, the microwave assisted-extraction method, and the reflux method. These are presented in respect of their role in the isolation of bioactive molecules regarding different tea species. Furthermore, following the literature review conducted in this study, the commonly used green extraction methods were found to be the ultrasound-assisted method and the microwave-assisted method. In addition to these, the use of a green solvent, in regard to its role in the maximum extraction yield of active ingredients in various species of tea, was emphasized. Catechins, alkaloids (such as caffeine), gallic acid, and flavonoids were the main extracted bioactive molecules that were isolated from the several tea species. From this literature review, it can be demonstrated that green tea has been widely studied at a rate of 52% in respect of the included research studies, followed by black tea at 26%, as well as white tea and oolong tea at 11% each. Regarding the determination of the bioactive molecules, the most utilized analytical method was found in the combination of high-performance liquid chromatography (HPLC) with a photodiode array detector (PDA) and mass spectrophotometry (MS) at a usage rate of about 80%. This method was followed by the utilization of UPLC and GC at 12% and 8%, respectively. In the future, it will be necessary to study the combination of green extraction techniques with other industry strategies, such as an encapsulation at the micro and nano scale, for the purposes of preparing stable final products with antioxidant properties where, finally, they can be safely consumed by humans.
- extraction methods
- green solvents
- green tea
- microwave-assisted extraction (MAE)
- supercritical fluid extraction (SFE)
- ultrasound-assisted extraction (UAE)