Phytochemicals and functional foods. Current situation and prospect for developing countries


  • Evelyn B. Rodriguez University of the Philippines
  • Maxima E. Flavier University of the Philippines
  • Delia B. Rodriguez-Amaya Universidade Estadual de Campinas
  • Jaime Amaya-Farfán Universidade Estadual de Campinas



Functional foods. Phytochemicals. Fruits and vegetables. Health promotion. Healthy eating. Degenerative diseases.


This review updates and attempts to present the complex panorama of bioactive phytochemicals and functional foods. For such purpose and given the breadth of the field, it was necessary to survey a large volume of scientific literature. The different types of studies used to provide evidence for efficacy are described. The different groups of health-promoting substances (carotenoids, phenolic compounds, phytosterols and phytostanols, tocotrienols, organosulfur compounds, nondigestible carbohydrates) are presented with a discussion of the dietary sources and the chemical and biological properties that explain their modes of action. Functional foods of plant origin (broccoli and other cruciferous vegetables, oat, flaxseed, tomato, soybean, citrus, berries, tea, grapes and wine, garlic) are discussed in terms of their health effects, the phytochemicals responsible and the body of evidence supporting such effects. The review emphasizes the importance of consuming fruits and vegetables for the general state of health of the population and points out some technical and scientific opportunities that can be explored in developing countries.


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Biografia do Autor

Evelyn B. Rodriguez, University of the Philippines

Institute of Chemistry, University of the Philippines

Maxima E. Flavier, University of the Philippines

Institute of Chemistry, University of the Philippines

Delia B. Rodriguez-Amaya, Universidade Estadual de Campinas

Faculty of Food Engineering and Center for Food Security Studies - NEPA, State University of Campinas, C.P. 6121

Jaime Amaya-Farfán, Universidade Estadual de Campinas

Faculty of Food Engineering and Center for Food Security Studies - NEPA, State University of Campinas


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Como Citar

Rodriguez EB, Flavier ME, Rodriguez-Amaya DB, Amaya-Farfán J. Phytochemicals and functional foods. Current situation and prospect for developing countries. Segur. Aliment. Nutr. [Internet]. 2º de fevereiro de 2015 [citado 16º de janeiro de 2022];13(1):1-22. Disponível em:



Artigo de Segurança Alimentar e Nutricional