Tannic acid - C76H52O46

What is Tannic acid?

Tannic acid is a type of polyphenol and is also called Acidum tannicum or Gallotannic acid. It has numerous phenol groups and hence a weak acid. It is obtained naturally from tara pods, Quercus infectoria, gallnuts from Rhus semialata, Sicilian Sumac leaves. The with a chemical formula of Tannic acid is C76H52O46.

The two main types of Acidum tannicum are Condensed tannins and Hydrolyzable tannins. The word tannin is derived from the Celtic word for Oaktree which was once used for leather processing.

Properties of Tannic acid – C76H52O46

Tannic acid


Molecular Weight of Tannic acid

1701.19 g/mol

Density of Tannic acid

2.12 g/cm3

Melting Point of Tannic acid

decomposes above 200 °C

pKa of Tannic acid

ca. 6

Structure of Tannic acid (C76H52O46)

Structure of Tannic acid

Uses of Tannic acid (C76H52O46)

  • Tannic acid in the production of albumin tannate which is used as an antidiarrheal agent.
  • It has wide application in the food industry as it is used as a taste enhancer, colour stabilizer, and clarifying agent.
  • It is used in the conservation of ferrous metal objects to inhibit corrosion.
  • It is used in the dyeing process for cellulose fibres.
  • It is used to impart anti-staining properties to polyamide carpets or yarn.
  • It is used as a coagulant in the manufacturing of rubber.
  • It is used as a reagent in analytical chemistry.
  • It is used with a mixture of albumin and gelatin to manufacture tortoiseshell.

Health hazards

Tannic acid can damage the eye, respiratory tract, gastrointestinal tract, and skin. It causes irritation, pain, redness, and blurred vision. When it is absorbed through the skin, it may cause redness and irritation. When ingested it can cause nausea, diarrhoea, and vomiting.

Learn more about the physical and chemical properties of Tannic acid (C76H52O46) from the experts at BYJU’S.

Practise This Question

For an equilibrium H2O(s)H2O(l), which of the following statements is true?