Berry fruit oils as valuable sources of ellagic acid
Aleksandra Zielińska, Agnieszka Feliczak-Guzik, Izabela Nowak
Pracownia Chemii Stosowanej, Wydział Chemii, Uniwersytet im. Adama Mickiewicza w Poznaniu
Polyphenols include a large group of compounds of plant origin, among which is ellagic acid playing a special role to human health. It is the representative of phenolic acids, as well as the dimer of gallic acid. Ellagic acid occurs mostly in the free form or it is combined by ester bonds with glucose, forming a so-called elagotannins - hydrolyzing tannins. The source of ellagic acid are berries such as raspberries, strawberries, blackberries, blueberries, black currant, cranberry, as well as natural oils, cold pressed from the fruits. Ellagic acid has many functions beneficial to human health. It prevents cardiovascular diseases, strengthens the immune system, has a strong antioxidant effect and, above all, it can inactivate carcinogenic compounds, allows it to protect the human body against cancer. Chemical structure of ellagic acid allows it to protect DNA, but also it reduces the frequency of the mutation, inhibits enzymes procancerogennic, and provides proactive action at all stages of cancer.
This article describes not only the properties of ellagic acid and elagotannins, but also characterises vegetable oils cold-pressed from berry fruits, which are a rich source of fatty acids and polyphenols, elagotannins or anthocyanins.
Key words: ellagic acid, ellagotannins, anticancer properties, berry fruit oils