The Quebracho
Colorado Tree


Climatically positive

Our Path

The species and

its characteristics

The tanning properties of Quebracho Colorado were discovered by Emilio Poisier, a french tanner living in Argentina, in 1867. By 1895 Quebracho extracts were already being exported to Europe and a few decades later they became the most widely used vegetable tanning extract. During the last decades of the 20th century, research about tannins and their alternative uses introduced Quebracho extracts into a growing number of applications.

The name Quebracho comes from the Spanish expression "quiebra hacha" (that means axe-breaker) because of the exceptional wood hardness. Quebracho extracts are a complex blend of poliphenols prepared from the heart wood of Quebracho Colorado trees which only grow in South America in the geographical area called Chaco, which covers Northern Argentina and Paraguay.

The extracts and

its Processes

These poliphenols extracted from the heartwood of Quebracho Colorado trees, are natural compounds that have the following characteristics:

  • Catequinic origin (thus they belong to the commonly known condensed tannins family)
  • A wide range of fractions with different molecular weights (from 200 up to 15000) which can be selected or chemically reacted according with the intended final use.
  • Presence of an important quantity of trimers and tetramers of C15 polymers with a great quantity of hydroxylic (–OH) groups that allows an important level of reactivity.
  • Low concentration of sugars and acids.
  • High stability to hydrolysis and microorganisms.

These remarkably versatile characteristics allow for the extracts to be transformed and enhanced through diverse processes that generate a range of products with specific properties suitable for several different industries.



To foster a continuous improvement, UNITAN has established and put in practice a system of environmental measures according to regulation ISO 14001:2004.

Our environmental policy has the following goals:

  • Develop and archive industrial procedures that improve our environmental performance and prevent all kind of pollution.
  • Fulfill with the environmental laws in force.
  • Formulate and manufacture our products in a secure way for all the staff of the company, carriers, contractors, citizens and clients.
Since February 2013 UNITAN supports environmental regional projects like the La Fidelidad National Park in the Chaco Province (Argentine)

In the Forestry and Sustainable Management section you can see the preservation processes that Unitán started thirty years ago


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