This book is the first of its kind that focuses on the chemistry and biology of ellagitannins, a special class of naturally occurring polyphenols which have so far not received the attention they deserve. These polyphenolic substances are found in many plants, including numerous food sources. They not only exhibit unique structural features that fascinate most chemists who are aware of their existence, but also express remarkable biological activities that have yet to attract the interest of the pharmaceutical industry. This is surprising because ellagitannins have been identified as active principles in traditional Chinese medicines.The principal aim of this book is to set the record straight. Most, if not all, worldwide experts in each aspect of the chemistry and biology of this underestimated class of natural products have contributed to this book. It covers topics such as their structural determination and natural occurrence; the most up-to-date knowledge of their biosynthesis; the current state of the art of their total chemical synthesis; their main physicochemical properties and principal biological activities; their presence in food and beverages; and their related health effects. All together, nine chapters compose this book whose content is placed into historical perspective in a yet inspiring preface written by one of the pioneers in modern polyphenol research, Professor Edwin Haslam. This book will be useful not only to scientists involved in natural product research, but also to lecturers and their students as a source of key references and/or a textbook.

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