Submitted to: Frontiers in Chemistry
Publication Type: Peer Reviewed Journal
Publication Acceptance Date: 12/19/2013
Publication Date: 12/31/2013
Citation: Lee, J., Scagel, C.F. 2013. Chicoric acid: chemistry, distribution, and production. Frontiers in Chemistry. 1:40.
Interpretive Summary: Dietary supplements containing chicoric acid (i.e., dandelion extract) have increased in popularity after being featured on a US TV program. Though that reportage only mentioned dandelion and basil as dietary sources of chicoric acid, fortunately it is much more widely available than the show made it appear. Chicoric acid has been identified in over 60 genera and species: from diverse plants as seagrass, fern frond, and lettuce. This review summarizes research on chicoric acid identification, potential health benefits, within plant distribution, effects of processing, etc.
Technical Abstract: Though chicoric acid was first identified in 1958, it was largely ignored until recent popular media coverage cited potential health beneficial properties from consuming food and dietary supplements containing this compound. To date, plants from at least 60 genera have been found to contain chicoric acid, and while the compound is used as a processing quality indicator, it may also have useful health benefits. This review of chicoric acid summarizes research findings and highlights gaps in research knowledge for investigators, industry stakeholders, and consumers alike. Additionally, chicoric acid identification and quantification methods, biosynthesis, processing improvements to increase chicoric acid retention, and potential areas for future research are discussed.