A Review on Grapes: The forgotten berry of cosmetics


Bhusal Sonika S.1, Dhumane Poonam S.2 Saudagar Ravindra B.2

1Department of Pharmaceutics, R.G.S. College of Pharmacy, Sapkal Knowledge Hub, Anjaneri, Nasik, Maharashtra, India.

2Department of Quality Assurance Techniques, R.G.S. College of Pharmacy, Sapkal Knowledge Hub, Anjaneri, Nasik, Maharashtra, India.

*Corresponding Author E-mail:




Grapefruit or grape is one of the most diffuse fruits in the world. Its biological name is Vitis vinifera and it belongs to the family Vitaceae. It is the third most widely cultivated fruit after citrus and banana. Globally grapefruit production contributes to about 16% of the total fruit production. However, the harvest is consumed as a fresh fruit and for producing raisins, wine, juice, juice concentrate, squash, beverages, jams and marmalades mostly. The potential of grapefruit in cosmetics is forgotten. It is a rich source of vitamin A and vitamin E. The value of grapefruit in cosmetics has been reported for its skin conditioning activity. It has also been reported to enhance hair growth. Many cosmetically beneficial activities have been suggested for grape seed oil such as astringent, antiseptic, emollient, sun-protection, and moisturiser, etc. Grape is used in cosmetics in its berry, leaf and seed forms. This article aims to bring back the focus on grapefruit for its cosmetic value. It mentions the constituents present in grapefruit along with the most suitable methods of extraction. The safety aspects of grapefruit’s use in cosmeceuticals have also been discussed with special reference to 22 varieties of ingredients found in the fruit.


KEYWORDS: Grape, Vitis venifera, Skin conditioning, Cosmetic value, Safety aspects.




Grapes have grown wild since prehistoric times, and are thought to have been enjoyed in China as early as 5000 BC. Starting in Greek and Roman cultures, grapes were first discovered for their role in winemaking, and soon spread across the world as the Europeans discovered and shared this drink. Grape is one of the most diffuse fruit in the world both as fresh fruit (table grape) and processed in wine, grape juice, molassa, and raisins. Grapes came to America as early as the17th century during Spanish missions. Worldwide, Italy, China, Spain, and France, account for about half of the world’s production of grapes. There are more than 60 species and 8000 varieties of grapes all over the world. Some common varieties of grapes are blue, black, green, red, golden, blue-black, white and purple. It’s biological source is Vitis vinifera and family Vitaceae. It is important fruit crop in India. In India Maharashtra produces large quantity of grapes. It contributes about 75 percent of the total production.


After Maharashtra Karnataka, Tamilnadu, Punjab are the states producing large quantity of grapes. It is the third most widely cultivated fruit after citrus and banana. Globally grapes production contributes to about 16% of the total fruit production. India produced 1878.00 thousand tonnes during 2008 which was about 2.77 per cent of the total world production. Grapes are widely consumed as fresh fruit in India. It is also used for producing raisins, wine, juice, juice concentrate, squash, beverages, jams and marmalades. [1, 7]


  As fresh fruit, grapes are very delicate and the loss at harvest and during the distribution is very high. The situation is not changed with the years and today table grapes is one the commodity with the higher loss in the retail step of the distribution channel, losses due mainly to shattering and grey mould. In Developed Countries table grape is one of the fruit with the highest input of technology (cooling, sulfuration, packing, cold storage) and practices (hand labour).


Grapes belong to the Vitaceae family. The genus Vitis is largely distributed between 25° and 50° N latitude in Europe, the Middle East, North America, and eastern Asia. Additionally, a few species of Vitis are found in the tropics – Central American countries, Caribbean, and northern South America. These are over 100 species in the literature, 65 of which are thought to be pure lines and another 44, probably interspecific hybrids. The genus Vitis is divided into 2 subgenera:


1. Euvitis - "True grapes"; characterized by elongated clusters of fruit with berries adhering to stems at maturity, forked tendrils, diaphragms in pith at nodes. Also called "bunch grapes". Most of the species is in this subgenera.


2. Muscadinia - Muscadine grapes; characterized by small fruit clusters, thick-skinned fruit, berries that detach one-by-one as they mature, simple tendrils, and the lack of diaphragms in pith at nodes. [8]


V. vinifera: Also known as “Old world grape’’, “European grape’’ and this is the major species of grapes, accounting for >90% of world production. Probably native in the area near the Caspian Sea in Asia Minor. Seeds have been found in excavated dwelling of the Bronze age in the south central Europe (3500-1000 BC).The Phoeniciens carried wine varieties to Greece, Rome and Southern France before 600 BC, and Romans spread the through Europe. Graoes move to the far-east via traders from Persia and India. Shiraz variety very famous for wine production gets the name from one of the Iranian city where grapes were found 5000 years ago. V. labrusca (V. labruscana Bailey) and V. rotundifolia are other varieties. [8]


Botanical description:

Plant: a liana or woody vine. Leaves are often large (8-10" in width) sometimes deeply lobed as in many V. vinifera cultivars, or rounded with entire or serrate margins. Tendrils occur opposite leaves at nodes. Flowers are small (1/8 inch), indiscrete, 5-merous, born in racemose panicles opposite leaves on current season's growth. The calyptra, or cap is the corolla, which abscises at the base of the flower and pops off at anthesis. Species in Euvitis may have more than 100 flowers per inflorescence, whereas muscadine grapes have only 10-30 flowers per cluster. Also, vinifera and concord grapes are perfect-flowered and self-fruitful, whereas some muscadines have only pistillate flowers. Most grapes are self-fruitful and do not require pollinizers. Fruit are berries, with 2 to 4 seeds; ovaries contain 2 locules each with 2 ovules. [1]


Italian varieties and French-American hybrids may set 4-5 clusters of fruit per shoot, and require cluster thinning for development of quality and proper vine vigor. Fruit size and cluster length are increased through GA application on 'Thompson Seedless' and other table cultivars. Grapes are adapted to a wide variety of soil conditions, from high pH and salt, to acidic and clay. Vinifera grapes can be generally characterized as requiring a long growing season, relatively high summer temperatures, low humidity, a ripening season free of rainfall, and mild winter temperatures. All of these attributes are found in Mediterranean climates. Concord and muscadine grapes are obviously adapted to humid, temperate climates, with muscadines requiring longer growing seasons and milder winters than concords. Cold hardiness is a major limiting factor for vinifera grapes.


Grapes are highly digestible and have a number of therapeutic properties: firstly, they are laxative and diuretic. They are useful in fighting dyspepsia, haemorrhoids, stones in the urinary tract and bile ducts. They also activate liver functions, ease digestion, help reduce the cholesterol level of the blood and eliminate uric acid. Grapes are also disinfectant and antiviral, aid the nervous system, and are useful in processes that demineralise the body such as pregnancy and nursing. To take best advantage of its therapeutic virtues, it should be eaten in the morning on an empty stomach. A natural tonic and detoxicant. Its juice is used in cosmetics to bleach and soften the skin. As well as being eaten fresh, grapes are used to prepare various desserts, jams, gelatins and sorbets. The nutritional and energy information about grapes is as given in following table.


Table 1: Nutritional and energy information for grape (100 grams of product) [4]

Edible part



1 mg


80.3 mg


192 mg


0.5 mg


0.4 mg


0.1 mg




15.6 mg


4 mg


1.5 mg


0.1 mg


61 kcal

Vitamin C

6 mg


Chemical Constituents of Grapes:

It is rich source of proanthocyanidin, resveratrol, vitamin B1, vitamin B6, vitamin E, vitamin A, catechins, polyphenols, vitamin C, cyanidin, delphinidin, peonidin, petunidin, malvidin, flavonoids are present in the form of glycosides, galactosides and glucuronidese.[14]


Benefits of Grapes:

It gives antioxidant, antiageing, antidandruff, longevity, skin conditioning activity. The antioxidant activity is mainly due the proanthocyanidin and resveratrol which prevents free radical attack and their by gives antiageing activity. Red grapes are the rich source of proanthocyanidin and resveratrol and hence are used in cosmetics. These constituents are mostly present in grapes skin and seed. Various cosmetics containing either grapes seed extract or grapes fruit extract are available in market. In 2011, FDA collected information on various cosmetics. In their voluntary cosmetic registration programme they found that about 463 cosmetic formulations contains Grapes seed extract and about 219 cosmetic contains grape fruit extract. Due to potent antioxidant activity of grapes their use in cosmetics is increasing day by day. Mainly grape seed extract, fruit and leaf extracts are used in cosmetics. [1-4, 9]




For extraction methods following methods can be used:

·        Solid /liquid extraction

·        Pulsed electric field extraction

·        High hydrostatic pressurised extraction

·        Ultrasonic extraction

·        Total extraction


Generally solid liquid extraction methods are used. All extractions were conducted by a solid/liquid ratio of 1:4.5 where the solvent was a mixture of ethanol and water (50:50, v/v). After each of the treatments extracts were filtered and supernatants were collected for further analysis. Also, Pulsed electric fields extraction procedure is used in this method a pulsed electric field treatment was applied using a Pure Pulse exponential decay pulse generator with a maximum voltage of 10 kV and a maximum average power of 8 kW. The peak pulse voltage used was 9 kV, resulting in electric field strength of 3 kV cm−1. A series of 30 pulses was applied at ambient temperature to obtain a specific energy input of 10 kJ kg−1. The pulse repetition rate was 2 Hz, the total treatment time was 15 s, for filling and unfilling of the sample the time required was 1 min. The subsequent extraction was performed at 70 °C and held during 1 h in a shaken Erlenmeyer flask.


The another technique used for extraction is High hydrostatic pressurized extraction Experiments were conducted in a high hydrostatic pressure device consisting of a series of thermo stated  microautoclaves (i.d. 16 mm, ca. 25 ml) connected by valves.  Ultrasonic’s extraction is another method used for extraction in which extraction is carried out in ultrasonic bath. A total extraction from grape skins was carried out in a water bath incubated at a temperature of 70 °C held during 3 h. In this case, the solid/liquid ratio was increased to 1:20. [13, 14]


Safety Aspects:

The following 24 Vitis vinifera (grape)-derived ingredients for use in cosmetic formulations have been reported for there safety assessment-

Vitis Vinifera (Grape)

Vitis Vinifera (Grape) Bud Extract

Vitis Vinifera (Grape) Flower Extract

Vitis Vinifera (Grape) Fruit Extract

Vitis Vinifera (Grape) Fruit Powder

Vitis Vinifera (Grape) Fruit Water

Vitis Vinifera (Grape) Juice

Vitis Vinifera (Grape) Juice Extract

Vitis Vinifera (Grape) Leaf Extract

Vitis Vinifera (Grape) Leaf Oil

Vitis Vinifera (Grape) Leaf/Seed/Skin Extract

Vitis Vinifera (Grape) Leaf Water

Vitis Vinifera (Grape) Leaf Wax

Vitis Vinifera (Grape) Root Extract

Vitis Vinifera (Grape) Seed

Vitis Vinifera (Grape) Seed Extract

Vitis Vinifera (Grape) Seed Powder

Vitis Vinifera (Grape) Shoot Extract

Vitis Vinifera (Grape) Skin Extract

Vitis Vinifera (Grape) Skin Powder

Vitis Vinifera (Grape) Vine Extract

Vitis Vinifera (Grape) Vine Sap

Hydrolyzed Grape Fruit

Hydrolyzed Grape Skin


These ingredients are reported to have many functions in cosmetics; they are reported most frequently to function as skin conditioning agents. Some of these ingredients are reported to function as antioxidants, flavoring agents, and/or colorants. In the Food and Drug Administration (FDA) Food Labeling regulations (21CFR101) subpart C, which addresses Specific Nutrition Labeling Requirements and Guidelines, grapes are listed as one of the 20 most frequently consumed raw fruits.


The safety of Vitis Vinifera (Grape) Seed Oil and Hydrogenated Grapeseed Oil was reviewed previously in 2011 by the Cosmetic Ingredient Review (CIR) Expert Panel in the Safety Assessment of Plant-Derived Fatty Acid Oils as Used in Cosmetics, at which time the Panel concluded that these ingredients are safe as used in cosmetics.[5,15]



Analysis of chemical constituents of grapes can be carried out by using various spectrophotometric methods these includes LC-DAD/ESI-MS, HPLC, UV/VIS. [13]



Grapes are the nature’s gift for cosmetics due their potent antioxidant and skin conditioning activity. And hence their use should not limit only in food products. As India is largest producer of Grapes and the grapes are not having side effects we should increase their use in cosmetics.



1)       Kapoor LD. Handbook of Ayurvedic Medicinal Plants. Herbal Reference Library. 336.

2)       Agrawal PK. Establishing Regional and Global Marketing Network for Small holders’ Agricultural Produce / Products with reference to Sanitary and Phyto-sanitary (SPS) Requirement. Agricultural Marketing. April-June; 2002:15-23.

3)       Acharya SS and Agarwal NL.Agricultural Marketing in India.1999.

4)       Post harvest technology of grapes in India-A profile. Directorate of Marketing and Inspection. MPDC. Nagpur.

5)       Duke JA. Dr. Duke's Phytochemical and Ethno botanical Databases. Chemicals in Vitis vinifera L. (Vitaceae). http://www.arsgrin.gov/duke/. 2012.

6)       Shi J, Yu J, Pohorly JE, and Kakuda Y. Polyphenolics in Grape Seeds - Biochemistry and Functionality. Journal of Medicinal Food. 6 :( 4); 2003:291-299.

7)       http://www.whfoods.com/genpage.php?tname=foodspice&dbid=40.

8)       Mencarelli F and Bellincontro A– LAPO. Department of Food Science and Technology. University of Viterbo. Italy.Grape: Post-harvest operations.2005.

9)       Bellincontro A, De Santis D, Botondi R, Villa I, Mencarelli F.2003. Quality Characteristics and Volatile Compounds of Malvasia, Trebbia no, and Sangiovese Grapes as Influenced by the Postharvest Dehydration Rate of Berries. Journal of Science and Food Agricultural.

10)    http://www.fas.usda.gov.

11)    http://www.conerpo.com.

12)    http://www.cancer.org/Treatment/TreatmentsandSideEffects/ComplementaryandAlternativeMedicine/DietandNutrition/grapes.

13)    Librán C, Mayor L, García-Castelló  E, Gras ML, Argüelles A, Vidal-Brotons D. Assessment of process conditions on the extraction of Antioxidants from grape marc. International Conference on food Innovaction.Oct 2010.

14)    Denis R, Zora K. A Comparison of Extraction Methods for Selected Phenolic Compounds from Grape Berry Skins Using Liquid Chromatography and Spectrophotometry.54; 2007:114-118.

15)    Safety Assessment of Vitis Vinifera (Grape)-Derived Ingredients as Used in Cosmetics. Final report for Distribution.2012.




Received on 12.10.2013                    Accepted on 22.11.2013  

©A&V Publications all right reserved

Res. J. Topical and Cosmetic Sci. 4(1): July –Dec. 2013 page 77-80