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Patents on Phytochemicals: Methodologies of Extraction, Application in Food and Pharmaceutical Industry

[ Vol. 9 , Issue. 3 ]


Nancy Ordaz-Trinidad, Lidia Dorantes-Alvarez and Juan Salas-Benito   Pages 158 - 167 ( 10 )


Background: Patents on phytochemicals are being registered worldwide. Such phytochemicals provide benefits to human health, and include terpenoids, phenolic compounds, alkaloids, lignin, and fiber.

Objective: This review has the purpose to provide a comprehensive overview of patents published in the last five years about extraction of phytochemicals and their application in the food and pharmaceutical industry. Method: Forty eight pa- tents were analyzed and classified in four topics of interest; 1) Extraction, 2) Functional foods, 3) Biological activity, and 4) Prevention of diseases.

Results: Extraction yield of phytochemicals is the critical step. The techniques to extract phytochemicals include enzymat- ic hydrolysis, nano-particulate precipitation, salts formation and combination of solvents; however, the use of ultrasound and microwave is increasing. Patents concerning functional foods include pediatric formulations, sport drink, and compo- sitions that produce beneficial effects. Biological activity of plant extracts tested in animals or cell cultures, as antioxidant, anti-inflammatory, anticancer activity, reduction of obesity and diabetes are presented in this review. Application of phy- tochemicals in the prevention and treatment of health disorders, such as diabetes, gastritis, enteritis, topical inflammation, macular degeneration, gingivitis, prostatic hyperplasia, urinary impairments.

Conclusion: Patents revised include 30% methodologies for extraction of phytochemicals, 16% application of phytochem- icals in food matrixes to obtain functional foods, 18% biological activity of extracts or compounds and 36% application in the prevention and treatment of illness, which reveals a great interest to protect intellectual property concerning applica- tion of phytochemicals formulations for human health.


Anticancer phytochemicals, antihyperglicemic activity, functional foods, physiological benefits, phytochemicals extraction, prevention diseases.


Departamento de Ingenieria Bioquimica. Escuela Nacional de Ciencias Biologicas, Instituto Politecnico Nacional, Carpio y Plan de Ayala, C.P. 11340. DF, Mexico.

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