Propolis extract is a resin collected by the bees and contains numerous active substances with a recognized pharmaceutical potential use. The aim of this study was to conduct a systematic review of studies with the use of propolis as a food additive and the microencapsulation technology for incorporation of the product in food. Studies in Portuguese, English and Spanish were identified from online databases, Lilacs, Pubmed, Medline, Science Direct, Google Scholar/Google Academic, Bioline International, Springer Link, Vadlo and HighBeam Research. Studies published between 1979 and May 2018 that assessed the use of propolis as a natural food additive and microencapsulation technologies were included. The analysis showed that there are few studies about the use of propolis as a natural additive in food for human consumption, in spite of several authors bringing the importance of bioactive compounds of propolis. Based on this review, further studies are needed to cover the incorporation of propolis in food, considering its potential as a natural additive and its antioxidant and antimicrobial properties. It also shows the need for studies to enhance the technology of microencapsulation in order to preserve the characteristics of interest and mask those that may influence the foods acceptance.
Key words: Additives, bioactive principles, food safety, propolis, microencapsulation.
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