The aim of this study was to evaluate the effect of controlled atmosphere in the change of color, chlorophyll degradation and phenolic compounds concentration in yerba maté thickly ground (“cancheada”) and thinly milled (“socada”). Yerba maté samples from the towns of Arvorezinha (RS - Brazil) and São Mateus do Sul (PR - Brazil) were stored in four levels of oxygen (1, 3, 6 and 20.9kPa of O2) and four levels of carbon dioxide (0, 3, 6 and 18kPa of CO2) and then were analyzed, after nine months of storage. According to the results, the O2 partial pressure reduction decreased the loss of green coloration, kept a higher content of chlorophylls and of total phenolic compounds. In relation to the different levels of CO2, a response as remarkable as O2 was not observed. The yerba maté that was thickly ground (“cancheada”) presented a better storage potential than the one thinly milled (“socada”) in the storage with O2 and with CO2. The 1kPa of O2 condition kept the yerba maté greener and with a higher content of chlorophylls and of total phenolic compounds after nine months of storage. The CO2 partial pressure kept the yerba maté coloration greener and with a higher content of chlorophylls and of total phenolic compounds, regardless of the level used, in the maté from both cultivation areas.
Ilex paraguariensis; storage; coloration and phenolic compounds