Berries are rich in bioactive compounds, such as vitamins, fiber, macro and microelements and have high content of polyphenols, plant secondary metabolites. The consumption of a diet rich in polyphenols has in epidemiological studies been associated with a lower incidence of degenerative diseases including cancer, cardiovascular and other diseases. The preventive effects are often attributed, in part, to phenolic compounds and suggested to be due to their antioxidant, and anti-inflammatory effects as well as other beneficial effects. This review describes the effect of cultivation methods and environmental factors on the composition and content of phenolic compounds in some berries. Methods for extraction and analyses of phenolic compounds and reported potential mechanisms of action through which polyphenol compounds may exert protective actions are also reviewed.
Key words: Berries, bioactive compounds, phenolic compounds.
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