Spruce bark as an industrial source of condensed tannins and non-cellulosic sugars

Katariina Kemppainen (Corresponding Author), Matti Siika-aho, S. Pattathi, S. Giovando, Kristiina Kruus

    Research output: Contribution to journalArticleScientificpeer-review

    120 Citations (Scopus)


    Norway spruce (Picea abies) is an important raw material for the forest industry in Nordic countries. The chemical composition and hot water extraction of spruce bark was studied to find out its potential as an industrial source of condensed tannins. Industrial bark was found to contain a high amount of wood (up to 21%), a sufficient amount of tannin for industrial extraction (10.7% of wood-free bark), and a high amount of non-cellulosic glucose, varying according to the felling season (7.7-11.5% of wood-free bark). Temperature had a major effect on the overall extraction yield. Selective extraction of only tannins or water-extractable carbohydrates was not possible. The extraction was scaled up to pilot-scale and an extract was produced having a promising 50% tannin content. Glycome profiling performed on bark and hot water extracts showed the presence of xyloglucan, pectic polysaccharides and arabinogalactan in bark. In addition the extracts were characterized using size exclusion chromatography and 31P nuclear magnetic resonance spectroscopy. Spruce bark appears to be a promising new source of tannins, however the high content of free, glycosidic, and polymeric sugars in the raw extract may need to be tackled prior to use in applications.
    Original languageEnglish
    Pages (from-to)158-168
    Number of pages11
    JournalIndustrial Crops and Products
    Publication statusPublished - 2014
    MoE publication typeA1 Journal article-refereed


    • extraction
    • glycome profiling
    • non-cellulosic carbohydrates
    • pilot-scale
    • spruce bark
    • tannin


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