Over the last few decades, isolations and chemical characterizations of secondary metabolites with proved biological activities have been of interest for numerous research groups across the world. Phenolics, as one of the largest and most widely distributed group of phytochemicals, have gained special attention due to their pharmacological activity and array of health-promoting benefits. Reports on phenolic potentials of marine algae, especially brown algae (Pheophyceae) that are characterized by the presence of phlorotannins, are still scarce. The aim of this review paper is to provide an overview of current knowledge about phenolic potential of different brown algae species (74 species from 7 different orders). Studies on brown algae phenolics usually involve few species, thus the focus of this review is to provide information about the phenolic potential of reported algae species and to get an insight into some issues related to the applied extraction procedures and determination/quantification methods to facilitate the comparison of results from different studies. The information provided through this review should be useful for the design and interpretation of studies investigating the brown algae as a source of valuable phytochemicals.
Keywords: biologically active compounds; brown algae; extraction; phenolics; phlorotannins; quantification.