Prediction of tea theanine content using near-infrared spectroscopy and flower pollination algorithm

Pauline Ong, Suming Chen, Chao Yin Tsai, Yung Kun Chuang

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

18 Citations (Scopus)


In this study, near-infrared (NIR) spectroscopy was exploited for non-destructive determination of theanine content of oolong tea. The NIR spectral data (400–2500 nm) were correlated with the theanine level of 161 tea samples using partial least squares regression (PLSR) with different wavelengths selection methods, including the regression coefficient-based selection, uninformative variable elimination, variable importance in projection, selectivity ratio and flower pollination algorithm (FPA). The potential of using the FPA to select the discriminative wavelengths for PLSR was examined for the first time. The analysis showed that the PLSR with FPA method achieved better predictive results than the PLSR with full spectrum (PLSR-full). The developed simplified model using on FPA based on 12 latent variables and 89 selected wavelengths produced R-squared (R2) value and root mean squared error (RMSE) of 0.9542, 0.8794 and 0.2045, 0.3219 for calibration and prediction, respectively. For PLSR-full, the R2 values of 0.9068, 0.8412 and RMSEs of 0.2916, 0.3693, were achieved for calibration and prediction. Also, the optimized model using FPA outperformed other wavelengths selection methods considered in this study. The obtained results indicated the feasibility of FPA to improve the predictability of the PLSR and reduce the model complexity. The nonlinear regression models of support vector machine regression and Gaussian process regression (GPR) were further utilized to evaluate the superiority of using the FPA in the wavelength selection. The results demonstrated that utilizing the wavelength selection method of FPA and nonlinear regression model of GPR could improve the predictive performance.

Original languageEnglish
Article number119657
JournalSpectrochimica Acta - Part A: Molecular and Biomolecular Spectroscopy
Publication statusPublished - Jul 5 2021


  • Flower pollination algorithm
  • Gaussian process regression
  • Near-infrared spectroscopy
  • Partial least squares regression
  • Support vector machine regression
  • Theanine

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Analytical Chemistry
  • Atomic and Molecular Physics, and Optics
  • Instrumentation
  • Spectroscopy


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