Specificities of purified extracts in comparison with crude extracts


Myth 1: Regarding pine, all species are the same: False!

There are many different types of pine trees, for example:

  • The pinus pinaster or maritime pine, found in the forests of Les Landes. Note that this is the only species found in Les Landes: an extract of native Landes pine is 100% pinus pinaster, and is therefore, fully traceable.
  • The pinus radiata, very present in New Zealand
  • The pinus massoniana, mainly found in China

The bark extracts all contain polyphenols, but their composition is very different depending on the species:pinus-compare

.Pinus pinaster/Pinus Massoniana HPLC analysis comparative

HPLC-analysis-comparativeMaritime pine bark has a specific composition, different from other species of pine..

.Myth 2: Crude extract of pine bark contains the same amount of polyphenols as purified extract, so it’s the same thing! False!

In the case of crude extract, compared with that of purified extract, the polyphenol content is effectively identical (generally > 96%).

 Pinus pinaster bark extracts essentially contain:

  • proanthocyanidins (or procyanidins)
  • polymers of cathechine or epicathechine

Oligopin® and Cosmythic®, pine bark extracts from Les Landes, when highly purified, contain a minimum of 67% OPC.

Crude extracts consist mainly of high molecular weight polymers (tannins), while the purified extracts are concentrated in low weight polymers or oligomers (OPC).

It is the latter (the OPCs), which are responsible for the beneficial effects.

The results of the chemical dosage, found on the analysis certificates of various pine bark extract providers, does not differentiate OPC tannins (the Folin test is used to determine polyphenol content, the Bate-Smith test is used to determine procyanidin content and the ORAC test is used to determine antioxidant capacity).

Only more specialised methods enable the analysis of the procyanidins based on their molecular weight: namely, the thiolysis method, which is seldom used, because it is difficult to implement, or GPC (Gel Permeation Chromatography).


Please feel free to compare the different products with good analytical methods! *

.Myth 3: A crude extract is ‘closer to nature’ than a purified extract. False!

This assertion completely obscures the fact that, since the beginning of time, man has always made selective extractions, starting with apples picked from trees, berries picked from bushes or potatoes, without their tops!

Purifying a product does not destroy its nature: in the case of pine bark extract (Oligopin® and Cosmythic®), the various purification steps used, help to preserve the elements that are best for the human body.

.Myth 4: A purified extract is much more expensive than a crude extract. False!

It is perfectly normal that the comparison of the price per kg favours crude extracts. One must be very careful with this type of assertion.

In the case of maritime pine extract, the extraction yield is 50 times lower for a purified extract, than for a crude extract, rich in OPC. The extraction process is more complex and more expensive to implement

The price comparison relating to the rate of the active ingredient (OPC), favours the purified extract.

Do the maths yourself!


Yannick Piriou, PhD, Purextract®

Nathalie Luzecki-Michaud, Purextract®


*For free comparative analyses between your own pine bark extract (highlighting the rate of active ingredient – OPC), Oligopin ® and Cosmythic ®, please contact info@purextract.fr

A GPC Oligopin analysis, carried out by an independent laboratory, is available by clicking on the following link: http://www.agilent.com/cs/library/applications/5991-0487EN.pdf


The picture choosen to illustrate this article was shot by Marie Aude Veyssy for the Purextract ® photography challenge.