How is it a polyphenol if it doesn't have a hydroxyl group?

If it isn't which subclass would you put it in, and which functional groups does it contain?

  • 1
    $\begingroup$ It is not a polyphenol as it does not contain hydroxyl group. It has isoflavonoid like structure(contains ketone as functional group). $\endgroup$ Commented May 25, 2017 at 12:38

2 Answers 2


How is rotenone a polyphenol?

It is not. Wikipedia says: Polyphenols are $\ldots$ characterized by the presence of large multiples of phenol structural units.

And if you're to pull up an image which gives you the structural formula of rotenone you get (Image source: https://upload.wikimedia.org/wikipedi...)


Do you see any phenols in this structure?

If it isn't which subclass would you put it in

According to this article I've found:

Article source

In the late $1920$’s, the chemical structure of rotenone was determined. Rotenone is a member of a class of compounds of related molecular structure referred to as isoflavones.

And finally,

which functional groups does it contain?

With a keen eye, if you look at the structure carefully, you'll at least be able to spot a ketone.

  • $\begingroup$ Thanks, thats what I too thought, but an article I read mentioned it as a polyphenol. Im still horrible at chemistry though, so can you tell me if the two benzen rings count as a functional group (like an aromatic hydrocarbon), or does that also get ruled out because it isn`t a hydrocarbon? $\endgroup$
    – user45681
    Commented May 25, 2017 at 12:58
  • $\begingroup$ @user45681 I'd call that double bond (top-right) a functional group. As for benzene, this Purdue Univ's handout says benzene rings are functional groups but one of the answers here says otherwise: chemistry.stackexchange.com/questions/41953/… :( $\endgroup$ Commented May 25, 2017 at 13:10
  • $\begingroup$ OK, would you just call the functional group top right a methyl group, or would you have to point out the double bond? Is that what makes it special? It`s still a methyl right? $\endgroup$
    – user45681
    Commented May 25, 2017 at 13:16
  • $\begingroup$ @user45681 Oh wait, I'm sorry, yes since this has benzene rings in a bonded form, then they can be called functional groups. $\endgroup$ Commented May 25, 2017 at 13:17
  • $\begingroup$ @user45681 That methyl group is a separate functional group (called an alkyl) and that double bond is a different functional group. $\endgroup$ Commented May 25, 2017 at 13:19

It looks like ChEBI classifies it as an isoflavone which are ketone-containing hetro ring systems with an oxygen.


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