Phenolic Compounds from Nuts: Extraction, Chemical Profiles, and Bioactivity

J Agric Food Chem. 2020 Jan 29;68(4):927-942. doi: 10.1021/acs.jafc.9b07160. Epub 2020 Jan 14.


Nuts contain a vast array of phenolic compounds having important biological properties. They include substances allocated into the five major groups named phenolic acids, flavonoids, tannins, phenolic lignans, and stilbene derivatives. The complexity in composition does not allow for setting a universal extraction procedure suitable for extraction of all nut phenolics. The use of non-conventional extraction techniques, such as those based on microwave, ultrasound, and compressed fluids, combined with generally recognized as safe solvents is gaining major interest. With regard to the latter, ethanol, water, and ethanol-water mixtures have proven to be effective as extracting solvents and allow for clean, safe, and low-cost extraction operations. In recent years, there has been an increasing interest in biological properties of natural phenolic compounds, especially on their role in the prevention of several diseases in which oxidative stress reactions are involved. This review provides an updated and comprehensive overview on nut phenolic extraction and their chemical profiles and bioactive properties.

Keywords: bioactive properties; chemical profiles; extraction; nuts; phenolic compounds.

Publication types

  • Review

MeSH terms

  • Animals
  • Antioxidants / chemistry
  • Antioxidants / isolation & purification
  • Antioxidants / pharmacology
  • Humans
  • Nuts / chemistry*
  • Phenols / chemistry*
  • Phenols / isolation & purification*
  • Phenols / pharmacology
  • Plant Extracts / chemistry*
  • Plant Extracts / isolation & purification*
  • Plant Extracts / pharmacology


  • Antioxidants
  • Phenols
  • Plant Extracts