Bioactive Phenols in Small Fruits and Berries
Pp. 245-342 (98)
Raquel de Pinho Ferreira Guiné
Bioactive compounds are extra nutritional constituents occurring naturally in
plant foods in small amounts, however in quantities enough to produce bioactive
effects. Among bioactive compounds the phenolic compounds are a very large set of
molecules, which include several groups such as for example flavonoids, phenolic
acids or tannins. Small fruits and berries include a wide diversity of fruits, like grapes,
strawberries, blackberries, blueberries, raspberries, cherries, hardy kiwi, gooseberries,
cranberries, currants (black, white, red), physalis, crowberries, açaí, elderberries, dates
or goji berries, and these have frequently been reported as having particularly high
concentrations of phenolic compounds with antioxidant activity. Hence, the objective
of this chapter is to review the literature about the type and content of different
phenolic compounds present in small fruits and berries, as well as their bioactive
properties, including antioxidant capacity. All the fruits and berries investigated in this
chapter were particularly rich in bioactive compounds, including phenolic compounds
that provide the fruits with high antioxidant properties. The most relevant health
promoting effects include anti-cancer, anti-inflamatory, neuro protective, cardio
protective or anti-diabetes, thus indicating that these foods are a valuable resource to
prevent and treat diseases.
Anthocyanins, Antioxidant activity, Flavonoids, Health, Phenolic
acids, Phenolic compounds.
Department of Food Industry, ESAV, Quinta da Alagoa, Estrada de Nelas, Ranhados, 3500-606 Viseu, Portugal.