, Volume 78, Issue 2, pp 189-199
Date: 22 Dec 2007

Microbial production of ellagic acid and biodegradation of ellagitannins

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In the last years, tannin biodegradation has been the subject of a lot of studies due to its commercial importance and scientific relevance. Tannins are molecules of low biodegradation and represent the main chemical group of natural anti-microbials occurring in the plants. Among the different kinds of tannins, ellagitannins represent the group less studied manly due to their diversity and chemical complexity. The general outline of this work includes information on tannins, their classification and properties, biodegradation, ellagic acid production, and potential applications. In addition, it describes molecular, catalytic, and functional information. Special attention has been focused on the biodegradation of ellagitannins describing the possible role of microbial enzymes in the production of ellagic acid.