Polyphenolic compounds with molecular weights of around 500-3000 daltons and containing enough hydroxyl groups (1-2 per 100 MW) for effective cross linking of other compounds (ASTRINGENTS). The two main types are HYDROLYZABLE TANNINS and CONDENSED TANNINS. Historically, the term has applied to many compounds and plant extracts able to render skin COLLAGEN impervious to degradation. The word tannin derives from the Celtic word for OAK TREE which was used for leather processing.
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