Ethanolic extract of durian seeds was fractionated by reverse phase flash column chromatography and the fractions characterized by electrospray ionization mass spectroscopy. Among a few unknown compounds collected, oligomeric proanthocyanidins (OPCs) were found to be one of the main compounds. Based on this result, the OPCs were purified the first time from the durian seeds using standard procedures and gave a yield of 1.8 mg/g dry matter after fractionation by Sephadex LH-20 column. Structural analysis by 13
H} NMR and ESI-MS spectra showed the presence of primarily B-type procyanidins with mainly epicatechin as the extension units, which was further verified by matrix assisted laser desorption/ionization–time of flight mass spectra (MALDI-TOF MS), which shows a distribution of dimers to decamers. In addition, hydroxylated peaks with molecular weight 16 units more than the poly-epicatechins represented significant peaks. We suggest this might be due to hydroxylation occurring under the MALDI-TOF MS conditions. Consistently, depolymerization with α-toluenethiol resulted in epicatechin thioether as the major product, but undetectable amount of gallocatechin or its α-toluenethiol derivatives. The oligomershave a mean degree of polymerization of 7.30.