Tannin: One substance, different applications

Tannins are present, in varying concentrations, in all plants, in particular in some trees, such as Chestnut and Quebracho (you can know more about the main tannin sources at the page Tannin in Nature).

But to find it, you do not have to go hiking through woodland trails. Tannin is already inside your house, hidden in the objects and habits that are part of your daily life.

Over thousands of years, tannin has been used in many different ways: as a tanning agent, as a fixing element in the dye, even as an ink (find other curiosities on the page History of tannin). We can say that it has changed several jobs in the hands of different mankind generations. In recent decades it has also found use in some industrial sectors and in particular production processes. Here is tannin’s “updated curriculum.”

Main Uses of Tannin

Vegetable Tanning


It is the protagonist of the vegetable tanning process, a recognizable method with a centuries-old tradition. The tannin is able to fix the proteins (collagen) giving vegetable tanned leather unique characteristics compared to other methods of tanning. It imparts warm tones to the leather, which tend to re-appear on the surface with the use.

Enology

Tannin is often associated with wine, particularly red wine. It is naturally present both in the grapes and in the wood of the barrels and confers the wine that characteristic astringent taste. Moreover, during the different stages of wine production, it is allowed to add tannic extracts for clarification, for the stabilization of the color or for the reduction of sulfites.

Animal Nutrition

It is used to supplement the diet of farm animals as a natural growth promoter, helping to rebalance the gut microbiota and to strengthen the immune system. This means decreasing the use of antibiotics and other medications, improving the quality of animal well-being. A change that has beneficial effects on the whole food chain.

Nutraceutics

Tannins are part of the polyphenols family, antioxidants found in fruits and vegetables. Being already an integral part of our diet, it can be used as a dietary supplement to counteract the ageing of tissues and to reinforce the immune defenses. An action that has positive repercussions also on vitality and mood, triggering a virtuous circle of well-being.

Cosmetics

Thanks to its antioxidant power, it is able to counteract the free radicals that cause cellular ageing. It is therefore not surprising that it is often used in cosmetic preparations. In addition, it reduces the production of sebum, and is therefore highly indicated for the care of oily and inflamed skin, either for the care of oily hair or to rebalance the scalp.

Food Industry

How do you prefer a beer, with or without a foamy head? In both cases, it is the tannin that regulates it: without the addition of tannin, the foam would continue to grow! It is also used in the clarification processes of beer, as an antioxidant and flavoring in fruit juices and even in ready to drink teas, that naturally already contain high concentrations of tannin.

Vegetable Tanning

It is the protagonist of the vegetable tanning process, a recognizable method with a centuries-old tradition. The tannin is able to fix the proteins (collagen) giving vegetable tanned leather unique characteristics compared to other methods of tanning. It imparts warm tones to the leather, which tend to re-appear on the surface with the use.

Enology

Tannin is often associated with wine, particularly red wine. It is naturally present both in the grapes and in the wood of the barrels and confers the wine that characteristic astringent taste. Moreover, during the different stages of wine production, it is allowed to add tannic extracts for clarification, for the stabilization of the color or for the reduction of sulfites.

Animal Nutrition

It is used to supplement the diet of farm animals as a natural growth promoter, helping to rebalance the gut microbiota, to strengthen the immune system. This means decreasing the use of antibiotics and other medications, improving the quality of animal well-being. A change that has beneficial effects on the whole food chain.

Nutraceutics

Tannins are part of the polyphenols family, antioxidants found in fruits and vegetables. Being already an integral part of our diet, it can be used as a dietary supplement to counteract the ageing of tissues and to reinforce the immune defenses. An action that has positive repercussions also on vitality and mood, triggering a virtuous circle of well-being.

Cosmetics

Thanks to its antioxidant power, it is able to counteract the free radicals that cause cellular ageing. It is therefore not surprising that it is often used in cosmetic preparations. In addition, it reduces the production of sebum, and is therefore highly indicated for the care of oily and inflamed skin, either for the care of oily hair or to rebalance the scalp.

Food Industry

How do you prefer a beer, with or without a foamy head? In both cases, it is the tannin to regulate it: without the addition of tannin, the foam would continue to grow! It is also used in the clarification processes of beer, as an antioxidant and flavoring in fruit juices and even in ready to drink teas, that naturally already contain high concentrations of tannin.

An Environmentally Friendly and Sustainable Product

In addition to being extremely versatile, tannin is environmentally friendly. The production of tannin, in fact, follows criteria of eco-sustainability, respecting the environment and those who inhabit it. Privileging products created with the use of tannin means encouraging more sustainable industrial processes than chemical synthesis compounds.

Pin It on Pinterest