The effect of vinification techniques on phenolic compounds and antioxidant activity of wine lees are poorly understood. The present study investigated the antioxidant activity of white and red wine lees generated at early fermentation and during aging. In this study, the total phenol content (TPC), total tannin content (TTC), mean degree of polymerization (mDP), and antioxidant activities of five white and eight red wine lees samples from different vinification backgrounds were determined. The results showed that vinification techniques had a significant (p
< 0.05) impact on total phenol and tannin content of the samples. White wine lees had high mDP content compared with red ones. Catechin (50–62%) and epicatechin contents were the predominant terminal units of polymeric proanthocyanidin extracted from examined samples. Epigallocatechin was the predominant extension unit of white wine lees, whereas epicatechin was the predominant compound in red wine marc. The ORAC (oxygen radical absorbance capacity) assay was strongly correlated with the DPPH (α, α-diphenyl-β-picrylhydrazyl) assay, and the results showed the strong antioxidant activities associated with red wine lees (PN > 35 mg Trolox/g FDM) (PN: Pinot noir lees; FDM: Freeze-dried Material). This study indicates that tannin is one of the major phenolic compounds available in wine lees that can be useful in human and animal health applications.
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