A Simple Method to Separate Red Wine Nonpolymeric Phenols and Tannins by Solid-Phase Extraction

Manuel Pinelo-Jiménez, Felipe Laurie, Andrew L Waterhouse

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Simple polyphenols and tannins differ in the way that they contribute to the organoleptic profile of wine and their effects on human health. Very few straightforward techniques to separate red wine nonpolymeric phenols from the polymeric fraction are available in the literature. In general, they are complex, time-consuming, and generate large amounts of waste. In this procedure, the separation of these compounds was achieved using C18 cartridges, three solvents with different elution strenghts, and pH adjustments of the experimental matrices. Two full factorial 23 experimental designs were performed to find the optimal critical variables and their values, allowing for the maximization of tannin recovery and separation efficiency (SE). Nonpolymeric phenols such as phenolic acids, monomers, and oligomers of flavonol and flavan-3-ols and anthocyanins were removed from the column by means of an aqueous solvent followed by ethyl acetate. The polymeric fraction was then eluted with a combination of methanol/acetone/water. The best results were attained with 1 mL of wine sample, a 10% methanol/water solution (first eluant), ethyl acetate (second eluant), and 66% acetone/water as the polymeric phenols-eluting solution (third eluant), obtaining a SE of ca. 90%. Trials with this method on fruit juices also showed high separation efficiency. Hence, this solid-phase extraction method has been shown to be a simple and efficient alternative for the separation of nonpolymeric phenolic fractions and the polymeric ones, and this method could have important applications to sample purification prior to biological testing due to the nonspecific binding of polymeric phenolics to nearly all enzymes and receptor sites.
Original languageEnglish
JournalJournal of Agricultural and Food Chemistry
Issue number8
Pages (from-to)2839-2844
Publication statusPublished - 2006
Externally publishedYes


  • C18 cartridges
  • Red wines
  • Solid-phase extraction
  • Tannins
  • Purification

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