Bioactive components and health effects of pecan nuts and their by-products: a review
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Pecan is a North American native tree that produces a stone fruit or kernel, commonly known as pecan nut,which is highly valuable worldwide due to its sensory quality, and health promoting properties derived from the presence of mono- and polyunsaturated fatty acids, tocopherols and monomeric and polymeric polyphenolic compounds. The increase in the demand for pecan nut leads to an increase in by-products such as leaves, cake and principally nutshell, which have high contents of bioactive components, making them interesting raw materials to produce nutraceuticals with health benefits. The phytochemical content of pecan oil and kernel, as well as that of the main pecan by-products is discussed in detail, paying special attention to the presence of individual polyphenols with monomeric and polymeric structures. Finally, studies regarding the biological activity and potential use of pecan oil, kernel and by-products are summarized and discussed.
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