Journal of Functional Foods, Available online 14 January 2012
Royal jelly (RJ) is an important functional food item that possess several health promoting properties. It has been widely used in commercial medical products, healthy foods and cosmetics in many countries.
RJ has been demonstrated to possess numerous functional properties such as antibacterial activity, anti-inflammatory activity, vasodilative and hypotensive activities, disinfectant action, antioxidant activity, antihypercholesterolemic activity and antitumor activity. Biological activities of RJ are mainly attributed to the bioactive fatty acids, proteins and phenolic compounds.
In consideration of potential utilisation, detailed knowledge on the composition of RJ is of major importance. The diversity of applications to which RJ can be put gives this novel food great industrial importance.
This review summarises the composition, nutritional value and functional properties of RJ.
► Consumers and food industry have growing interest on novel foods of health-promoting properties. ► Royal jelly (RJ) is an interesting functional food with high levels of bioactive compounds. ► Biological activities of RJ are attributed to bioactive fatty acids, proteins and phenolic compounds. ► This review summarises the nutritional value and functional properties of RJ.