Background: A large proportion of the global production of fruits and vegetables is
destined for processing by the food industry. This intense process generates tons of by-products,
which may serve as sources of fiber and bioactive compounds, such as polyphenols and
carotenoids. Accordingly, numerous studies have investigated the valorization of these by-products
focusing on the extraction of bioactive compounds. However, the total amount of bioactive compounds
ingested may not reflect the amount available for intestinal absorption, which refers to the
bioaccessibility of these compounds. In addition, the interaction of bioactive compounds with dietary
fiber and other nutrients may influence their bioaccessibility and may impair the understanding
of the physiological effects of these by-products as prebiotic potential.
Methods: The purpose of this mini-review is to summarize the main results obtained in the last
five years regarding the bioaccessibility of the two major bioactive compounds of fruit and vegetable
by-products, i.e., polyphenols and carotenoids, to corroborate the biopotential of this food
matrix. Additionally, this review attempts to elucidate the relationship reported between the composition
of these by-products and the emerging prebiotic property.
Results: In general, the bioaccessibility of polyphenols and carotenoid compounds from fruit and
vegetable by-products shows high variability, and it is suggested that the composition of the food
matrix is one of the main factors influencing their bioaccessibility. Moreover, a promising prebiotic
effect of these by-products is described.
Conclusion: The brief literature review with recent studies provide relevant information that may
contribute to using the fruit and vegetable by-products as a natural source of bioactive compounds
and/ or functional ingredient.