Grapes are one of the most widely grown fruits and have been used for winemaking since the ancient Greek and Roman civilizations. Grape seeds are rich in proanthocyanidins which have been shown to possess potent free radical scavenging activity. Grape seeds are a complex matrix containing 40% fiber, 16% oil, 11% proteins, and 7% complex phenols such as tannins. Grape seeds are rich sources of flavonoids and contain monomers, dimers, trimers, oligomers, and polymers. The monomeric compounds includes (+)-catechins, (-)-epicatechin, and (-)-epicatechin-3-O-gallate. Studies have reported that grape seeds exhibit a broad spectrum of pharmacological properties against oxidative stress. Their potential health benefits include protection against oxidative damage, and anti-diabetic, anti-cholesterol, and anti-platelet functions. Recognition of such health benefits of proanthocyanidins has led to the use of grape seeds as a dietary supplement by the consumers. This paper summarizes the studies of the phytochemical compounds, pharmacological properties, and industrial applications of grape seeds.
Keywords: catechins; flavonoids; grape seeds; grapes; proanthocyanidins.