Coenzyme Q10 contents in foods and fortification strategies

Crit Rev Food Sci Nutr. 2010 Apr;50(4):269-80. doi: 10.1080/10408390902773037.


Coenzyme Q10 (CoQ(10)) is an effective natural antioxidant with a fundamental role in cellular bioenergetics and numerous known health benefits. Reports of its natural occurrence in various food items are comprehensively reviewed and critically evaluated. Meat, fish, nuts, and some oils are the richest nutritional sources of CoQ(10), while much lower levels can be found in most dairy products, vegetables, fruits, and cereals. Large variations of CoQ(10) content in some foods and food products of different geographical origin have been found. The average dietary intake of CoQ(10) is only 3-6 mg, with about half of it being in the reduced form. The intake can be significantly increased by the fortification of food products but, due to its lipophilicity, until recently this goal was not easily achievable particularly with low-fat, water-based products. Forms of CoQ(10) with increased water-solubility or dispersibility have been developed for this purpose, allowing the fortification of aqueous products, and exhibiting improved bioavailability; progress in this area is described briefly. Three main fortification strategies are presented and illustrated with examples, namely the addition of CoQ(10) to food during processing, the addition of this compound to the environment in which primary food products are being formed (i.e. animal feed), or with the genetic modification of plants (i.e. cereal crops).

Publication types

  • Review

MeSH terms

  • Age Factors
  • Antioxidants / administration & dosage
  • Antioxidants / analysis
  • Biological Availability
  • Dietary Fats / administration & dosage
  • Food Analysis
  • Food, Fortified*
  • Functional Food*
  • Humans
  • Nutritive Value
  • Oxidation-Reduction
  • Solubility
  • Ubiquinone / administration & dosage
  • Ubiquinone / analogs & derivatives*
  • Ubiquinone / analysis
  • Vitamins / administration & dosage
  • Vitamins / analysis


  • Antioxidants
  • Dietary Fats
  • Vitamins
  • Ubiquinone
  • coenzyme Q10