Catechin is a flavan-3-ol, a derivative of flavans, with four phenolic hydroxyl groups, which exhibits a wide range of physiological properties. Chromatographic analyses were employed to examine the effects of blue light irradiation on the changes of catechin hydrate in an alkaline condition. In particular, the detection of a superoxide anion radical (O2•−), a reactive oxygen species (ROS), and the inactivation of Acinetobacter baumannii (A. baumannii)—including a carbapenem-resistant A. baumannii (CRAB)—was investigated during the photoreaction of catechin hydrate. Following basification with blue light irradiation, the transparent solution of catechin hydrate turned yellowish, and a chromogenic catechin dimer was separated and identified as a proanthocyanidin. Adding ascorbic acid during the photolytic treatment of catechin hydrate decreased the dimer formation, suggesting that ascorbic acid can suppress the photosensitive oxidation of catechin. When catechin hydrate was irradiated by blue light in an alkaline solution, O2•− was produced via photosensitized oxidation, enhancing the inactivation of A. baumannii and CRAB. The present findings on the photon-induced oxidation of catechin hydrate provides a safe practice for the inactivation of environmental microorganisms.
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