The Application of Pollen as a Functional Food and Feed Ingredient-The Present and Perspectives

Biomolecules. 2020 Jan 5;10(1):84. doi: 10.3390/biom10010084.


Pollen is recognized as an excellent dietary supplement for human nutrition, which is why it can be found in different forms on the market (granules, capsules, tablets, pellets, and powders). But, the digestibility of pollen's nutrients is strongly affected by the presence of a pollen shell, which can decrease the bioavailability of nutrients by 50% and more. Since consumers have become more aware of the benefits of a healthy diet and the necessity to improve pollen digestibility, different pollen-based functional food products have been developed and extensive studies were done to estimate the beneficial effects of pollen-based feed on animal growth, health, and rigor mortise stage. Considering the positive effects of pollen nutrients and phytometabolites on human and animal health, the aim of this paper was to give an overview of recent achievements in the application of pollen in the formulation of functional food and animal diets. Special attention was paid to the effects of pollen's addition on the nutritional, functional, techno-functional, and sensory properties of the new formulated food products. Anti-nutritional properties of pollen were also discussed. This review points out the benefits of pollen addition to food and feed and the possible directions in the further development of functional food and feed for the wellbeing of everyone.

Keywords: anti-nutrients; bee-collected pollen; feed ingredient; floral pollen; food ingredient; pollen-based food products.

Publication types

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

MeSH terms

  • Animal Feed
  • Animals
  • Biological Availability
  • Diet
  • Dietary Supplements
  • Food Additives / metabolism
  • Food Additives / pharmacology*
  • Functional Food
  • Humans
  • Pollen / chemistry
  • Pollen / metabolism*
  • Pollen / physiology*


  • Food Additives