Steam explosion (SE) is a versatile tool for the pretreatment of lignocellulosic plant 27 materials and the further separation of their main constitutive components, i.e. cellulose, 28 hemicellulose, lignin, etc. In this study, we propose to evaluate the effects of SE 29 treatment on the recovery of secondary metabolites. As a case study, the well-known 30 grape pomace phenolic compounds were considered. Our results demonstrate that the 31 efficiency of the steam explosion in term of yield (900 mg polyphenols per kg of dry 32 grape pomace) was relatively similar to conventional maceration methods in alcoholic 33 media (800 mg/kg). Advantages of SE compared to maceration were highlighted: the 34 process is organic solvent free, destabilize the biomass structure and release insoluble 35 bound phenolic compounds. In addition, it offers the possibility to modulate distinct 36 polyphenols profiles by modifying the process conditions.