The promise of dried fruits in cancer chemoprevention

Asian Pac J Cancer Prev. 2014;15(8):3343-52. doi: 10.7314/apjcp.2014.15.8.3343.


Chemoprevention is an attempt to use nontoxic natural and synthetic substances or their mixtures to intervene the relatively early stages of carcinogenesis, before invasive characteristics are manifested. The consumption of fruits is well known to reduce the risk of human cancers. Although most fruits are available only on a seasonal basis, recent advances in food processing technologies have made it possible to extend the shelf life of fruits and fruit-products. Fruits can be preserved by applying different drying processes to reduce the moisture content. Different varieties of dried fruits are now sold in supermarkets, thereby making them readily accessible to consumers. Since oxidative stress and chronic inflammation play important roles in cancer development, dried fruits with antioxidative and anti-inflammatory properties hold promise for cancer chemoprevention. The antioxidant, anti-inflammatory and chemopreventive activities of dried fruits are largely attributed to their polyphenols and vitamins. Dried fruits contain adequate amounts of bioactive principles, such as anthocyanins, acetogenins, catechins, coumarins, phenolic acids, terpenes, xanthones, and others. Since numerous health beneficial phytochemicals in fruits are conserved even after processing, regular intake of dried fruits can help prevent cancer. This review addresses the chemopreventive potential of representative dried fruits and their active constituents.

Publication types

  • Research Support, Non-U.S. Gov't
  • Review

MeSH terms

  • Acetogenins / therapeutic use
  • Anthocyanins / therapeutic use
  • Anti-Inflammatory Agents / therapeutic use*
  • Antioxidants / therapeutic use*
  • Catechin / therapeutic use
  • Chemoprevention
  • Coumarins / therapeutic use
  • Food Handling
  • Fruit*
  • Humans
  • Hydroxybenzoates / therapeutic use
  • Inflammation*
  • Neoplasms / immunology
  • Neoplasms / metabolism
  • Neoplasms / prevention & control*
  • Oxidative Stress*
  • Phytochemicals / therapeutic use*
  • Terpenes / therapeutic use
  • Xanthones / therapeutic use


  • Acetogenins
  • Anthocyanins
  • Anti-Inflammatory Agents
  • Antioxidants
  • Coumarins
  • Hydroxybenzoates
  • Phytochemicals
  • Terpenes
  • Xanthones
  • Catechin
  • phenolic acid