Quantifying and characterizing proanthocyanidins in cranberries in relation to urinary tract health

Anal Bioanal Chem. 2013 May;405(13):4385-95. doi: 10.1007/s00216-013-6750-3. Epub 2013 Feb 9.


The "A-type" proanthocyanidins in cranberry fruit (Vaccinium macrocarpon Ait.) are bioactive components associated with prevention of urinary tract infections (UTI). Cranberry juice, fruit (fresh and dried), functional foods, and cranberry dietary supplements are promoted for prevention of UTI and for maintenance of urinary tract health (UTH), on the basis of their content of cranberry proanthocyanidins (c-PAC) with "A-type" interflavan bonds. With increasing consumer use of cranberries for maintenance of UTH and an expanding number of commercial cranberry products of different types, the availability of unified methods for measuring levels of c-PAC is important. This review discusses quantitative and qualitative analysis of c-PAC with "A-type" interflavan bonds in relation to their biological activity for UTI prevention. The integrity (including authenticity, standardization, efficacy, and safety) of cranberry fruit, juices, and dietary supplements may now be measured by using recent advances in mass spectrometry, liquid chromatography, production of c-PAC standards, and improved simple quantitative techniques.

Publication types

  • Review

MeSH terms

  • Beverages / analysis
  • Chromatography, Liquid
  • Cinnamates / chemistry
  • Dietary Supplements / analysis*
  • Dietary Supplements / standards
  • Humans
  • Mass Spectrometry
  • Plant Extracts / analysis*
  • Plant Extracts / standards
  • Proanthocyanidins / analysis*
  • Proanthocyanidins / standards
  • Reference Standards
  • Urinary Tract Infections / prevention & control
  • Vaccinium macrocarpon / chemistry*


  • Cinnamates
  • Plant Extracts
  • Proanthocyanidins
  • 4-dimethylaminocinnamaldehyde