Food ellagitannins-occurrence, effects of processing and storage

Crit Rev Food Sci Nutr. 2009 Mar;49(3):283-98. doi: 10.1080/10408390802064404.


Interest in ellagitannins and ellagic acid has increased over the past few years due to its properties as a micronutrient. Ellagitannins are complex plant polyphenols composed of hexahydroxydiphenoyl moieties esterified to a sugar. Fruits (especially berries and nuts) are rich sources of ellagitannins and ellagic acid, a hydrolytic product of ellagitannins. These secondary metabolites give the characteristic taste to the fruits and their products, and also play an important role in food processing. This paper reviews research about occurrence in foods, change during process, and antioxidant activity of ellagitannins and ellagic acid.

Publication types

  • Review

MeSH terms

  • Antioxidants / analysis*
  • Antioxidants / chemistry
  • Antioxidants / metabolism
  • Diet
  • Ellagic Acid / analysis
  • Ellagic Acid / chemistry
  • Ellagic Acid / metabolism
  • Food Analysis
  • Food Handling / methods*
  • Food Preservation / methods
  • Fruit / chemistry*
  • Humans
  • Hydrolyzable Tannins / analysis*
  • Hydrolyzable Tannins / chemistry
  • Hydrolyzable Tannins / metabolism
  • Nutritional Physiological Phenomena


  • Antioxidants
  • Hydrolyzable Tannins
  • Ellagic Acid