Olive biophenols: from replacing synthetic antioxidants to therapeutic agents


Mario Pagliaro
Istituto per lo Studio dei Materiali Nanostrutturati, CNR, Palermo, Italy

Olive biophenols are a small emerging segment of the rapidly growing (>8% annual rate) global $800 million plant polyphenol market (1).


The increasing aging population in North America, Japan, and Europe willing to defy signs of aging; the consumer shift towards natural products for the treatment of inflammation, cardiovascular diseases, arthritis and other free radical-mediated diseases; and the related desire to replace toxic chemicals widely used as preservatives in foodstuffs and beverages with safe natural products. These are likely the three main factors that will drive increasing olive polyphenol utilization over the next years (2).


In its early phase epitomized by reseveratrol extracted from grape seed, the polyphenol market was driven by the demand of natural antioxidants for anti-aging products. Today, their demand is driven by increasing understanding of their role in providing key health benefits (3). Societal interest indeed is very high, as shown, for example, by the 18,600 search results returned in the “News” section of an Internet search engine.


The pioneering Groupe Polyphénols founded ...