Tannins are secondary metabolites of plants employed as insect and parasite repellent to prevent plague tissues. This peculiarity is related to the inhibition of extracellular enzymes that occurs through the complexation of peptides by means of several cross linking hydrogen bond with their many phenolic functions. The characteristics of these interactions are not completely clear, as the structure of these heterogeneous polyphenols molecules. We developed a new analytical method for the structural characterization of tannins based on the 31P-NMR technique that allows both the quantitative and the qualitative characterisation of all labile OH groups present in tannins.
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