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Table 2. Approved Use Levels for Tannic Acid

Percentage of product

Product as used

Baked goods 0.01

Alcoholic beverages 0.015 Nonalcoholic beverages, beverage bases, gelatins, puddings, fillings 0.005

Frozen desserts and soft candy 0.04

Hard candy and cough drops 0.013

Meat products 0.001

and flavogallonic acids. These substances are also formed by modification of galloyl groups attached to glucose. In some ellagitannins, glucose is in its open-chain state. The ellagitannins occur in the leaf, bark, and heartwood of many plant species.

The complexity and large molecular size of some of the ellagitannins is demonstrated by the isolation of a series of newly found substances in the flower buds of plants of the Camellia sp (11). One of these, Camelliin B, while only a dimer, exhibits a complex macroring structure as shown in Figure 5. Several other macroring dimeric ellagitannins have been isolated from other plants and are part of this newly recognized class of tannins.

As of 1993 more than 400 discrete ellagitannins had been reported (12,13). Taxonomic studies have shown that each of these tannins is associated with specific plant species that follow particular paths of plant evolution (14).

Gallotannins and ellagitannins are not present in food at the high levels observed for the proanthocyanidins. Although tannic acid has often been referred to as a component of tea and coffee, none is present. Gallic acid is formed in tea, however, by hydrolysis of gallated flavonoids.

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