Polyphenols

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Polyphenols

are mainly phytochemicals found abundantly in natural plant food sources. The most important food sources are fruit and vegetables, green tea, black tea, red wine, coffee, chocolate, olives, and extra virgin olive oil. Herbs and spices, nuts and algae also supply certain polyphenols. Some polyphenols are specific to particular food (ie. flavanones in citrus fruit, isoflavones in soya, phloridzin in apples). Others, such as quercetin, are found in all plant products such as fruit, vegetables, cereals, leguminous plants, tea, and wine.

In general, red wine will be richer in phenols abundant in the skin and seeds, such as anthocyanin, proanthocyanidins and flavonols, whereas the phenols in white wine will essentially originate from the pulp, and these will be the phenolic acids together with lower amounts of catechins and stilbenes. Average total polyphenol content measured by the Folin method is 216 mg/100 ml for red wine and 32 mg/100 ml for white wine. The content of phenols in rosé wine (82 mg/100 ml) is intermediate between that in red and white wines (see flavonoids).

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