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Proanthocyanidins are a class of polyphenols found in a variety of plants. Chemically, they are oligomeric flavonoids. Many are oligomers of catechin and epicatechin and their gallic acid esters. More complex polyphenols, having the same polymeric building block, form the group of tannins.

Epicatechin (EC), one of the building blocks of proanthocyanidins

Proanthocyanidins are a class of polyphenols found in a variety of plants. Chemically, they are oligomeric flavonoids. Many are oligomers of catechin and epicatechin and their gallic acid esters. More complex polyphenols, having the same polymeric building block, form the group of tannins.

Proanthocyanidins were discovered in 1947 by Jacques Masquelier, who developed and patented techniques for the extraction of oligomeric proanthocyanidins from pine bark and grape seeds. Often associated with consumer products made from cranberries, grape seeds or red wine, proanthocyanidins were once proposed as factors inhibiting urinary tract infections in women, but this research has been refuted by expert scientific committees.