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Review Article

Emir. J. Food Agric. 2014; 26(12): 1046-1056


Phytochemical composition of some common coastal halophytes of the United Arab Emirates

Iwona Cybulska, Grzegorz Brudecki, Ayah Alassali, Mette Thomsen, J. Jed Brown.

Abstract
Halophyte species of United Arab Emirates are a source of unique active phytochemicals, potentially due to the extreme environmental conditions under which the plants grow in the UAE. These phytochemicals make the native halophytes possibly interesting crops for biorefining, where biofuel production is combined with the production of value added chemicals, improving the economic feasibility of both process. Phytochemicals found in these species are widely recognized and researched as potential pharmaceutical and nutraceutical products. We reviewed the literature for secondary metabolites from species from the following halophyte families: Aizoaceae, Amaranthaceae (incl. Chenopodiaceae), Avicenniaceae, Zygophyllaceae. The review revealed that plant species belonging to these families contain valuable phytochemicals, such as fatty acids, terpenoids, flavonoids, alkaloids, steroids, tannins, saponins, quinones and coumarins, many of which have been reported to have therapeutic effects in humans.

Key words: Halophytes, Phytochemicals, Biorefining


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