Tuesday, 26 April 2022

An Overview of Traditional Uses, Phytochemical Compositions and Biological Activities of Edible Fruits of European and Asian Cornus Species

 Foods 2022, 11(9), 1240

Cornus species are widely distributed in central and southern Europe, east Africa, southwest Asia, and America. Several species are known for edible fruits, especially Cornus mas and Cornus officinalis. These delicious fruits, characterized by their remarkable nutritional and biological values, are widely used in traditional medicine. In contrast to the other edible Cornus species, C. mas and C. officinalis are the most studied for which little information is available on the main phytochemicals and their biological activities. Fruits are characterised by several classes of secondary metabolites, such as flavonoids, phenolic acids, lignans, anthocyanins, tannins, triterpenoids, and iridoids. The available phytochemical data show that the different classes of metabolites have not been systematically studied. However, these edible species are all worthy of interest because similarities have been found. Thus, this review describes the traditional uses of Cornus species common in Europe and Asia, a detailed classification of the bioactive compounds that characterize the fruits, and their beneficial health effects. Cornus species are a rich source of phytochemicals with nutritional and functional properties that justify the growing interest in these berries, not only for applications in the food industry but also useful for their medicinal properties.