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A Critical Review of the Characterization of Polyphenol–Protein Interactions and of Their Potential Use for Improving Food Quality

[ Vol. 23 , Issue. 19 ]


Maria Rosa Perez-Gregorio and Jesus Simal-Gandara*   Pages 2742 - 2753 ( 12 )


Background: Interest in protein–phenol interactions in biological systems has grown substantially in recent decades.

Methods: The interest has focused largely on food systems in response to reports on the prominent roles of phenolic compounds in nutrition and health.

Results: Phenolic compounds can have both favourable and adverse nutritional effects. Polyphenols are widely known for their antioxidant, anti-inflammatory, anticancer and antiaging properties; however, they have also been ascribed anti-nutritional effects resulting from interactions with some proteins and enzymes. Interactions between proteins and polyphenols can additionally influence food quality by altering some physical–chemical and sensory properties of foods. These effects may be useful to develop new products in food science and technology provided the nature of physical–chemical interactions between proteins and phenols is accurately elucidated. In this paper, we review the different possible modes of interaction between selected food proteins and phenolic compounds.

Conclusion: Existing knowledge on the mechanisms behind polyphenol–protein reactions, the structures of the resulting products and their potential uses is reviewed.


Polyphenol–protein interactions, food quality, characterization of polyphenol–protein interactions, phenolic compounds, antiaging properties, anti-nutritional effects.


Departamento de Quimica e Bioquimica, Faculdade de Ciências da Universidade do Porto, Rua Campo Alegre 687, Porto, Nutrition and Bromatology Group, Department of Analytical and Food Chemistry, Food Science and Technology Faculty, University of Vigo – Ourense Campus, E-32004 Ourense

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