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The substance, which belongs to the phenols, was first identified in 1963 in knotweed plants. It is an antioxidant (oxidation inhibitor) and is present in plants or plant foods, especially in peanuts, raspberries, mulberries and also grapes. In grapes, resveratrol is formed in the leaves and berry skins of vines affected by downy mildew or botrytis, as well as in stress conditions such as UV light as a defence reaction. It is a natural fungicide, so to speak. Such substances are also called phytoalexins. The resveratrol content is much higher in grapes or wines from cool and humid regions than in dry and warm regions. It is especially present in the skins of dark grapes in more than five times the amount of light-coloured grapes.

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