Berkem's source of inspiration

A natural origin

Polyphenols are compounds found throughout nature, particularly in the plant kingdom, and make up a large family of biological molecules. Notably, they play a protective role in plants.

These molecules are characterised by a common chemical structure, comprising at least one aromatic ring system attached to one or several hydroxyl groups (OH function). This confers multiple properties upon the polyphenols, leading to a number of health benefits. It is their antioxidative ability in particular that makes these components stand out: they are the most powerful natural antioxidants in the plant world.

Polyphenols are naturally present throughout the plant, from the root to the leaves, flowers and fruits. Because humans are not capable of synthesising them, they must come from our diets. They can be found in plant-based food sources with firmly-established reputations, such as tea, coffee, wine and cocoa.


Polyphenols are separated into a number of classes according to the structure of their carbon skeleton.



formule phenol

Example: Tyrosol
Origin: Olive



formule stilbenoide

Example: Resveratrol
Origin: Grape



formule flavonoide

Example: Quercetin
Origin: Strawberry



formule anthocyane

Example: Cyanidol
Origin: Raspberry



formule tanin hydrolysable

Example: Gallic tannins
Origin: Chestnut



formule tanin condense

Example: OPC
Origin: Potentilla

A proven antioxidative property

Free radicals are a type of chemical that are constantly generated by the organism or that form in response to threats arising from our environment. In excess, they accelerate cellular ageing and are the cause of oxidative stress. Polyphenols are capable of trapping these free radicals, thus limiting the damage incurred.

This ability is what gives polyphenols their antioxidative properties, their health benefits and their anti-ageing effect (reducing cutaneous and cellular ageing). These compounds are also recognised for their role in combating certain pathologies, such as cardiovascular and neurodegenerative diseases, cancers, osteoporosis and diabetes. 

Protective effect of polyphenols on cell


Exceptional resources: pine and grape

Polyphenols are anchored in the history of Berkem, which has been studying them for over 40 years. Starting in the early 70s, the company implemented a research partnership on natural antioxidants with the university of Bordeaux.

Since the very start of its activity, Berkem has specialised in the extraction of polyphenols from grape seeds and pine bark, and has developed unique expertise. Backed by our expertise, we have now diversified to offer a wider variety of plant extracts while still guaranteeing the high levels of purity which exceed regular standards, thanks to rigorous selection of raw materials, partnership contracts with producers, and the implementation of adapted procedures.

Grape seeds and pine bark are particularly rich in polyphenols, particularly OPCs (oligomeric proanthocyanidins). These antioxidative molecules play a protective role in the cardiovascular system, carrying out vasoprotective and anti-ageing actions. Their many properties are applicable to the domains of cosmetics and agri-food.