Reviews in Agricultural Science
Online ISSN : 2187-090X
Exploring the Health Benefits of Bee Pollen and Its Viability as a Functional Food Ingredient
Jaspreet KaurPrasad RasaneVikas KumarVikas NandaVishesh BhadariyaSawinder KaurJyoti Singh
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2024 Volume 12 Pages 65-78

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Abstract

Bee pollen, also known as ‘life-giving dust’, is a treasure trove of nutrients and bioactive compounds. It is regarded as a valuable functional food ingredient owing to its various health-promoting effects. Thus, it can be incorporated into different food products for the development of functional foods. The nutritional and bioactive constituents of bee pollen contribute to its extensive health benefits, including its role against cancer, diabetes, liver disease, cardiovascular disorders, etc. Despite having numerous positive health implications, its utilization as a functional ingredient in food products needs to be critically evaluated in terms of clinical effects and safety profile. The exine layer of bee pollen limits its utilization and contributes to the low bioavailability of key nutrients. Processing techniques (chemical, physical, enzymatic) break down the robust outer coat, improves digestibility, and allow the diffusion of nutrients in the GI tract. In addition, 50 g of bee pollen is sufficient to fulfill 50% reference daily intake (RDI) of most vitamins and minerals. Overall, the use of bee pollen is safe and its use seems promising for coping with various nutritional inadequacies. This review focuses on the important aspects and specific considerations which are required to be taken into account before the development of bee pollen-based food products. Particular attention must be paid to nutritional adequacy, sensory attributes, health effects, allergenicity, digestibility, and compliance with regulatory bodies.

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© 2024 The Uniited Graduate Schools of Agricultural Sciences, Japan
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