Grape seed extract (GSE) is a rich source of condensed flavonoid tannins, also called proanthocyanidins (PACs). The high molecular weight of polymeric PAC limits their biological activity due to poor bioavailability. The present study was undertaken to explore the potential applicability of microwave-assisted extraction (MAE) to convert GSE-PAC into monomeric catechins. A central composite design (CCD) was used to optimize the processing conditions for the MAE. The maximum total yield of monomeric catechins (catechin, epicatechin, and epicatechin gallate) and PAC were 8.2 mg/g dry weight (DW) and 56.4 mg catechin equivalence (CE)/g DW, respectively. The optimized MAE condition was 94% ethanol, 170 °C temperature, and a duration of 55 min. Compared to the results for PACs extracted via conventional extraction (Con) (94% ethanol; shaking at 25 °C for 55 min), MAE yielded 3.9-fold more monomeric catechins and 5.5-fold more PACs. The MAE showed higher antioxidant capacity and α-glucosidase inhibitory activity than that of the conventional extract, suggesting the potential use of the MAE products of grape seeds as a functional food ingredient and nutraceutical.
Keywords: Vitis vinifera; antioxidant; condensed tannin; cytotoxicity; flavanols; glucosidase; microwave-extraction.