Encapsulation of polyphenolic compounds for health promotion and disease prevention: Challenges and opportunities

Document Type : Narrative Review


1 Functional Foods and Nutraceuticals Unit, Department of Biochemistry, Federal University of Technology, P.M.B. 704, Akure 340001, Nigeria

2 Department of Pharmaceutics, College of Pharmacy, Jazan University, Jazan, 45142, Saudi Arabia

3 Research Center of Nutraceuticals and Natural Products for Health & Anti-Aging, College of Integrative Medicine, Dhurakij Pundit University, Bangkok 10210, Thailand

4 Department Food Science and Technology, Faculty Agriculture, Shahid Bahonar University of Kerman, 22 Bahman Blvd., Kerman 7616914111, Iran

5 Australasian Nanoscience and Nanotechnology Initiative (ANNI), 8031 Monash University LPO, Clayton, Victoria 3168, Australia

6 Australasian Nanoscience and Nanotechnology Initiative (ANNI), 8054 Monash University LPO, Clayton, Victoria 3168, Australia

7 Faculty of Fisheries and Food Science, Universiti Malaysia Terengganu, 21030 Kuala Nerus, Terengganu, Malaysia


Polyphenolic compounds are present in different parts of plants, including the root, stem, bark, leaves, seeds and fruits. They have been reported for their various biological functions including antimicrobial, antioxidant, anti-inflammatory, anticancer, antidiabetic, cardioprotective, and neuroprotective effects to mention a few, based on their interesting structures. The structure-function relationship of these polyphenolic compounds confers nutraceutical potentials on them, thus making them suitable for novel drug design and formulation of pharmaceutics. However, to preserve the structural properties of these polyphenolic compounds in biological systems, they have to be encapsulated in matrix of biopolymers. Hence, the need for the technology of nanoencapsulation that will enable the preservation and protection of the polyphenolic compounds from degradation and loss of potency. This review captures nanoencapsulation technology of polyphenolic compounds, their application in food and pharmaceutical industries, safety and biocompatibility. This also describes the health promotion and disease prevention of encapsulated polyphenolic compounds in animals and humans.

Graphical Abstract

Encapsulation of polyphenolic compounds for health promotion and disease prevention: Challenges and opportunities


  • Polyphenols are highly potent health promoting material that can be found in a wide range of plant species.
  • Application of polyphenols is impaired by their sensitivity to environmental factors such as heat and moisture.
  • Polyphenols require protection by means of encapsulation / nanoencapsulation.
  • The benefits of polyphenol encapsulation are enhanced anti-cancer, antidiabetic and anti-hypertensive abilities of phenolic compounds, to increased bioavailability and more progressive release of drugs in the body.
  • Nanoencapsulation of polyphenols offer promising results and can be achieved using polymeric, vesicular or inorganic nanocarriers.
  • Utilization of nanomaterials in delivery systems should be improved by a thorough understanding of polyphenols' physicochemical properties.


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