Plant Polyphenols

Volume 59 of the series Basic Life Sciences pp 259-280

Quantitative Methods for the Estimation of Tannins in Plant Tissues

  • Augustin ScalbertAffiliated withLaboratory for Biological Chemistry (INRA), Center of Agro-Industrial Biotechnology, National Agronomy Institute, Paris-Grignon

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The different assays used for tannin estimation in plant tissues can be classified into three groups according to the type of reaction involved: precipitation of proteins or alkaloids, reaction with phenolic rings, and depolymerization. The value of these methods for estimation of total tannins or of a particular group of tannins (proanthocyanidins, gallotannins or ellagitannins) is discussed. The importance of careful preparation of the tannin extract, including preparation and storage of the sample, extraction and fractionation of the isolates, is emphasized.