Background: Many studies have shown the benefits deriving from plants secondary
metabolites to human health also for the prevention of several diseases associated to oxidative stress
including cancer, cardiovascular diseases and diabetes mellitus. Nowadays there is a high attention
on plant secondary metabolites and analytical techniques related to their identification and characterization.
Conclusion: This review aims to report analytical procedures, instrumental configurations, and
extraction approaches devoted to secondary metabolites analyses. In this direction, an introduction
to secondary metabolites is made with emphasis on their formation, biological and pharmaceutical
roles. Extraction, characterization and analytical procedures are described in the second part of this
review, while a comparison of the analytical techniques will be discussed in the third part. This
review could provide a better understanding of the analytical procedure and techniques for secondary
metabolites and their applications in the scientific and industrial areas including food, food
supplements, cosmetic, and pharmaceutical, especially related to quality control analyses and to
chemical fingerprint elucidation, all in order to standardize these plant-derived extracts before in
vitro and in vivo studies.