Tannic acid CAS# 1401-55-4

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Quality Control of Tannic acid

Chemical Structure
Tannic acid CAS# 1401-55-4
Packing of Tannic acid

Description of Tannic acid

Tannic acid is a specific commercial form of tannin, a type of polyphenol. Its weak acidity (pKa around 10) is due to the numerous phenol groups in the structure. The chemical formula for commercial tannic acid is often given as C76H52O46, which corresponds with decagalloyl glucose, but in fact it is a mixture of polygalloyl glucoses or polygalloyl quinic acid esters with the number of galloyl moieties per molecule ranging from 2 up to 12 depending on the plant source used to extract the tannic acid. Commercial tannic acid is usually extracted from any of the following plant part: Tara pods (Caesalpinia spinosa), gallnuts from Rhus semialata or Quercus infectoria or Sicilian Sumac leaves (Rhus coriaria).
According to the definitions provided in external references such as international pharmacopoeia, Food Chemicals Codex and FAO-WHO tannic acid monograph only tannins sourced from the above-mentioned plants can be considered as tannic acid. Sometimes extracts from chestnut or oak wood are also described as tannic acid but this is an incorrect use of the term. It is a yellow to light brown amorphous powder; 2850 grams dissolves in one litre of water (1.7 moles per liter).
While tannic acid is a specific type of tannin (plant polyphenol), the two terms are sometimes (incorrectly) used interchangeably. The long-standing misuse of the terms, and its inclusion in scholarly articles has compounded the confusion. This is particularly widespread in relation to green tea and black tea, both of which contain tannin but not tannic acid.
Tannic acid is not an appropriate standard for any type of tannin analysis because of its poorly defined composition.

Basic Info of Tannic acid

Basic Info

Chemical Name

Tannic acid


Acidum tannicum;Quercotannic acid;Querci-tannic acid;Digallic acid;Gallotannin;Expand



Molecular Formula


Molecular Weight






Safety Info



Safety Statements

S24/25; S36; S26; S36/37/39; S22

HS Code


WGK Germany


Risk Statements


Hazard Codes


Caution Statement


Hazard Declaration




Appearance & Physical State

light yellow to tan solid with a faint odor


2.12 g/cm3

Melting Point

218 °C (dec.)

Flash Point


Refractive Index


Water Solubility

250 g/L (20 ºC)


Stable. Incompatible with metallic salts, strong oxidizing agents, iron and other heavy metals.

Storage Condition

Store in a cool, dry, well-ventilated area away from incompatible substances. Keep containers tightly closed. Store protected from light.


Numbering system

BRN number


MDL number


EINECS number


RTECS number



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What is Tannic acid ?

With the progress of science and technology and the development of society, chemical products have invariably permeated our daily lives, in medicine, food, cosmetics, electronics, industry, and other areas, becoming an essential part of our lives. One such product is Tannic acid  which has developed particularly rapidly in recent years. Do you know about Tannic acid ?


The official answer:Ellagic acid, also known as tannic acid, is an organic substance with the chemical formula C76H52O46, which is a tannin obtained from Leptospermum. It is yellow or light brown light non-crystalline powder or scale; odorless, slightly special odor, extremely astringent taste. Soluble in water and ethanol, easily soluble in glycerol, almost insoluble in ether, chloroform, or benzene. Its aqueous solution becomes blue-black when it meets with iron salt solution, and the addition of sodium sulfite can delay the discoloration. In the industry, ellagic acid is used in a large number of applications for tanning leather and manufacturing blue ink. Tannic acid can make the protein coagulate. People chemically treat raw pigskin and raw cow skin with tannic acid, which can make the soluble proteins in raw skin coagulate. As a result, the raw hides that would have been put on for a few days and stink and rot, become beautiful, clean, flexible, and durable leather. This tanning process is called leather tanning.

On October 27, 2017, the World Health Organization’s International Agency for Research on Cancer published a preliminary compilation of references to the list of carcinogens, with tannins and tannins in the list of 3 categories of carcinogens.

What’s the application of Tannic acid ?

  1. It can be used as a food antioxidant. It is usually used after mixing with vitamin E, vitamin C, or gallic acid, etc.
  2. Tannin is used as a viscosity reducer and filtration loss reducer for water-based drilling fluid and can improve the quality of filter cake. It is also used for tanning rawhides to convert them into leather. Tannin has the activity of reacting with proteins, polysaccharides, alkaloids, microorganisms, enzymes, and metal ions, and has the properties of antioxidant, free radical capture, bacterial inhibition, and derivatization reaction. It is used more and more widely in food processing, fruit and vegetable processing, storage, cosmetics, medicine, and water treatment.
  3. Tannic acid can combine with protein to produce water-insoluble tannin, so it can be added in shampoo to prevent the dissolution of hair fiber protein and protect hair and used in nail products to increase nail strength. Gallic ellagic acid and isogallic ellagic acid have a strong free radical scavenging effect, similar to gallic acid and catechin compounds, and can be used in skincare products for sun protection and skin brightening. Ellagic acid has astringent and antibacterial properties, is clinically used to treat local bleeding, and can be used in toothpaste to protect teeth and prevent gum bleeding.
  4. Mainly used in medicine, ink, printing and dyeing, leather and metallurgy industries and water treatment, tannins in the water treatment process, with flocculation, deoxidation, scale inhibition, and sterilization. Because there are a large number of hydroxyl groups in the molecular structure and the carboxyl groups produced by partial hydrolysis, it generates complexes with calcium and magnesium ions in water, preventing calcium and magnesium ions in boiler water from forming scale, and also reducing the deposition of calcium sulfate in cooling water and playing a dispersing role. In addition, the cohesive force of tannin can gather the precipitate into water slag, through the drainage of the boiler and cooling water system.
  5. It can be used as the clarifying agent of low wine and fruit wine. It can also be used as a leather tanning agent.
  6. Tannic acid is used for chromium-free passivation of galvanized layers.


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