Systematic Review of Phenolic Compounds in Apple Fruits: Compositions, Distribution, Absorption, Metabolism, and Processing Stability

J Agric Food Chem. 2021 Jan 13;69(1):7-27. doi: 10.1021/acs.jafc.0c05481. Epub 2021 Jan 4.


As the most widely consumed fruit in the world, apple (Malus domestica Borkh.) fruits provide a high level of phenolics and have many beneficial effects on human health. The composition and content of phenolic compounds in natural apples differs according to the tissue types and cultivar varieties. The bioavailability of apple-derived phenolics, depending on the absorption and metabolism of phenolics during digestion, is the key determinant of their positive biological effects. Meanwhile, various processing technologies affect the composition and content of phenolic compounds in apple products, further affecting the bioavailability of apple phenolics. This review summarizes current understanding on the compositions, distribution, absorption, and metabolism of phenolic compounds in apple and their stability when subjected to common technologies during processing. We intend to provide an updated overview on apple phenolics and also suggest some perspectives for future research of apple phenolics.

Keywords: absorption; apple; distribution; metabolism; phenolic compounds; processing stability.

Publication types

  • Systematic Review

MeSH terms

  • Food Handling
  • Fruit / chemistry
  • Fruit / metabolism
  • Humans
  • Malus / chemistry
  • Malus / metabolism*
  • Phenols / chemistry*
  • Phenols / metabolism
  • Plant Extracts / chemistry*
  • Plant Extracts / metabolism


  • Phenols
  • Plant Extracts