Phenolic composition, antioxidant potential and health benefits of citrus peel

Food Res Int. 2020 Jun:132:109114. doi: 10.1016/j.foodres.2020.109114. Epub 2020 Feb 19.


Citrus peel (CP) forms around 40-50% of the total fruit mass but is generally thought to be a waste. However, it is a substantial source of naturally occurring health enhancing compounds, particularly phenolic compounds and carotenoids. Phenolic compounds in CP mainly comprise phenolic acids (primarily caffeic, p-coumaric, ferulic and sinapic acid), flavanones (generally naringin and hesperidin) and polymethoxylated flavones (notably nobiletin and tangeretin). It has also been noted that CP's contain more amounts of these compounds than corresponding edible parts of the fruits. Phenolic compounds present in CP act as antioxidants (by either donation of protons or electrons) and protect cells against free radical damage as well as help in reducing the risk of many chronic diseases. Owing to the more abundance of polyphenols in CP's, their antioxidant activity is also higher than other edible fruit parts. Therefore, peels from citrus fruits can be used as sources of functional compounds and preservatives for the development of newer food products, that are not only safe but also have health-promoting activities. The present review provides in-depth knowledge about the phenolic composition, antioxidant potential and health benefits of CP.

Keywords: Antioxidant activity; Bioavailability; Citrus peel; Heath benefits; Phenolic compounds.

Publication types

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

MeSH terms

  • Antioxidants / analysis*
  • Biological Availability
  • Citrus / chemistry*
  • Coumaric Acids / analysis
  • Flavanones
  • Flavones / analysis
  • Fruit / chemistry*
  • Hesperidin
  • Hydroxybenzoates
  • Phenols / analysis*
  • Plant Extracts / analysis
  • Polyphenols


  • Antioxidants
  • Coumaric Acids
  • Flavanones
  • Flavones
  • Hydroxybenzoates
  • Phenols
  • Plant Extracts
  • Polyphenols
  • sinapinic acid
  • nobiletin
  • Hesperidin
  • phenolic acid
  • tangeretin
  • naringin