Journal article Open Access

Phenolic Compounds in Poorly Represented Mediterranean Plants in Istria: Health Impacts and Food Authentication

Ana Miklavčič Višnjevec; Matthew Schwarzkopf

Phenolic compounds are well-known bioactive compounds in plants that can have a protective role against cancers, cardiovascular diseases and many other diseases. To promote local food development, a comprehensive overview of the phenolic compounds’ composition and their impact on human health from typical Mediterranean plants such as Punica granatum L., Ziziphus jujuba Mill., Arbutus unedo L., Celtis australis L., Ficus carica L., Cynara cardunculus var. Scolymus L is provided. Moreover, the potential use of these data for authenticity determination is discussed. Some of the plants’ phenolic compounds and their impact to human health are very well determined, while for others, the data are scarce. However, in all cases, more data should be available about the content, profile and health impacts due to a high variation of phenolic compounds depending on genetic and environmental factors. Quantifying variation in phenolic compounds in plants relative to genetic and environmental factors could be a useful tool in food authentication control. More comprehensive studies should be conducted to better understand the importance of phenolic compounds on human health and their variation in certain plants.

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