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Information @ a Glance

  • Tannic acid is a specific commercial form of tannin, a type of polyphenol. Its weak acidity (pKa around 10)  is due to these phenol groups in the structure.
  • Commercial tannic acid is usually extracted from any of the following plant part: Tara pods (Caesalpinia spinosa), gallnuts from Rhus semialata or Quercus infectoria or Sicilian Sumac leaves (Rhus coriaria).
  • Tannic acid (TAN-ik AS-id) is a pale yellow amorphous powder, shiny scales, or spongy material that gradually darkens when exposed to air. It is odorless but has a strong, bitter taste.
  • Tannins are a basic ingredient in the chemical staining of wood, and are already present in woods like oak, walnut, and mahogany.
  • Tannin occurs naturally in tea, coffee, oak, sumac bark and myrobalan.
  • Tannic acid can be applied to woods low in tannin so chemical stains that require tannin content will react.
  • The presence of tannins in the bark of redwood (Sequoia) is a strong natural defense against wildfire, decomposition and infestation by certain insects such as termites. It is found in the seeds, bark, cones, and heartwood.
  • Tannic acid is a common mordant used in the dyeing process for cellulose fibers such as cotton, often combined with alum and/or iron.
  • Tannic acid is used in the conservation of ferrous (iron based) metal objects to passivate and inhibit corrosion.
  • Tannic acid reacts with the corrosion products to form a more stable compound, thus preventing further corrosion from taking place. After treatment the tannic acid residue is generally left on the object so that if moisture reaches the surface the tannic acid will be rehydrated and prevent or slow any corrosion.
  • Use of tannic acid in food applications is far more widespread and significant amounts are used as process aids in beer clarification, aroma compound in soft drinks and juices.
  • Today tannic acid is still used in pharmaceutical applications to produce albumine tannate which is used as an anti-diarrhea agent.
  • Tannic acid is also used to produce tannate salts of certain anti-histamins and anti-tussives to impart increased stability or slow release properties to the API (active pharmaceutical ingredient).
  • In manufacturing, tannic acid is used in ointments and suppositories for the treatment of hemorrhoids; for tanning hides and manufacturing ink; and to kill dust mites on furniture.
  • Tannic acids help eliminate diarrhea, reduce swelling of hemorrhoids, loosen catarrh in the respiratory system, and control various kinds of internal bleeding. Externally, tannins are beneficial in rubs for aching
    muscles and joints, in salves for open, slow-healing sores, and as antiseptics.
  • Plants high in tannic acid have been used to treat cancers, but tannic acid itself has been found to be carcinogenic under certain conditions.
  • Several Studies have shown tannic acid has antiviral, antimicrobial, and antibacterial properties. In many cases it acts directly on the organism to inactivate it.
  • Tannins have also been implicated in hyaluronidase system. That is, they destroy hyaluronidase in much the same manner as does echinacea, thereby defending the cells of the body against viral invasion.
  • Tannin is an ideal candidate for commercial extraction since it finds a ready market in leather industry and ayurvedic medical prescriptions.
  • Tannin protects the vulnerable parts of the plants from microbial attack by inactivating viruses and invasive microbial  extracellular enzymes.

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