Major flavonoids in grape seeds and skins: antioxidant capacity of catechin, epicatechin, and gallic acid

J Agric Food Chem. 2004 Jan 28;52(2):255-60. doi: 10.1021/jf030117h.


Grape seeds and skins are good sources of phytochemicals such as gallic acid, catechin, and epicatechin and are suitable raw materials for the production of antioxidative dietary supplements. The differences in levels of the major monomeric flavanols and phenolic acids in seeds and skins from grapes of Vitis vinifera varieties Merlot and Chardonnay and in seeds from grapes of Vitis rotundifolia variety Muscadine were determined, and the antioxidant activities of these components were assessed. The contribution of the major monomeric flavonols and phenolic acid to the total antioxidant capacity of grape seeds and skins was also determined. Gallic acid, monomeric catechin, and epicatechin concentrations were 99, 12, and 96 mg/100 g of dry matter (dm) in Muscadine seeds, 15, 358, and 421 mg/100 g of dm in Chardonnay seeds, and 10, 127, and 115 mg/100 g of dm in Merlot seeds, respectively. Concentrations of these three compounds were lower in winery byproduct grape skins than in seeds. These three major phenolic constituents of grape seeds contributed <26% to the antioxidant capacity measured as ORAC on the basis of the corrected concentrations of gallic acid, catechin, and epicatechin in grape byproducts. Peroxyl radical scavenging activities of phenolics present in grape seeds or skins in decreasing order were resveratrol > catechin > epicatechin = gallocatechin > gallic acid = ellagic acid. The results indicated that dimeric, trimeric, oligomeric, or polymeric procyanidins account for most of the superior antioxidant capacity of grape seeds.

MeSH terms

  • Antioxidants / analysis
  • Antioxidants / pharmacology
  • Catechin / analysis
  • Catechin / pharmacology*
  • Chromatography, High Pressure Liquid
  • Free Radical Scavengers / pharmacology
  • Fruit / chemistry*
  • Gallic Acid / analysis
  • Gallic Acid / pharmacology*
  • Peroxides
  • Plant Extracts / chemistry
  • Seeds / chemistry*
  • Vitis / chemistry*


  • Antioxidants
  • Free Radical Scavengers
  • Peroxides
  • Plant Extracts
  • perhydroxyl radical
  • Gallic Acid
  • Catechin