Electronic Supplementary Material from Instrument-free detection of polyphenols with a thread-based analytical device

We described an instrument-free method for quantitative analysis of the total content of tea polyphenols by measurement of the length of a coloured band. Polyphenols react with ferrous ions to form a colourless ferrous-polyphenols complex on cotton threads, which could be adsorbed on the threads. The complex was then oxidized to form a blue-black ferric-polyphenols complex, generating a blue-black band on the cotton thread. The length of this blue-black band was then measured to detect the total content of polyphenols. The advantages of this method include low cost, rapid analysis speed, low consumption, easy fabrication and operation. Furthermore, the digital instrument (scanner or camera) as well as the image processing software are not required. This proposed method was used to detect polyphenols in tea leaf extracts with an analytical result agreeing well with that obtained by a standard method, which demonstrates its potentials in monitoring of tea leaf quality especially in those resource-limited regions and settings.