Phytochemistry Reviews

, Volume 14, Issue 3, pp 321–334 | Cite as

Nutritional composition, physiological functions and processing of lotus (Nelumbo nucifera Gaertn.) seeds: a review

  • Yi Zhang
  • Xu Lu
  • Shaoxiao Zeng
  • Xuhui Huang
  • Zebin Guo
  • Yafeng Zheng
  • Yuting Tian
  • Baodong ZhengEmail author


Nelumbo nucifera Gaertn. has a relatively wide geographical distribution and biological diversity; various lotus parts have excellent food and medicinal values. Lotus seeds, which are currently the oldest known plant seeds, contain many functional ingredients. They can be eaten raw or cooked, and are often added to foods as ingredients or supplements. Many naturally occurring ingredients isolated from lotus seeds are certified to be multiple functional compounds, such as polyphenols, protein, polysaccharides. Proteins and carbohydrates are the main nutrients of lotus seeds. Low fat content and good proportion of amino acids confer to lotus seeds unique nutritional values that have attracted increasing attention around the world: multiple studies have assessed the functional components of lotus seeds. The bioactivity of ingredients from lotus seeds in vitro and in vivo include antioxidant activity, hypoglycemic, immunomodulatory, antibacterial, anti-inflammatory, analgesic effects as well as gastrointestinal regulation. Lotus seeds show prospective application in function food area and traditional medicine research. Furthermore, structure–activity relationship of functional compounds from lotus seeds will attracts much more interests in recent years. This work briefly reviews the nutrition composition, physiological functions and processing methods of lotus seeds, describing the impact of the latter on nutrient preservation. In addition, this review addresses the recent progresses made in this area and discusses the potential applications and limitations.


Nelumbo nucifera Gaertn. Semen nelumbinis Nutrition composition Physiological activity Products 



This research is financially supported by the China State “11th Five-Year Plan” Scientific and Technological Support Scheme (2007BAD07B05), the Special Major Science and Technology in Fujian Province (2008N0007), the Natural Science Foundation of Fujian Province (T0650021), the Natural Science Foundation of Fujian Province (2012J01081), the Doctoral Fund of Ministry of Education (20133515110013), the National Spark Program (2010GA720045), the National Natural Science Fund (31301441) and the Fujian Agriculture and Forestry University Outstanding Youth fund (No. xjp201204).


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Copyright information

© Springer Science+Business Media Dordrecht 2015

Authors and Affiliations

  • Yi Zhang
    • 1
    • 2
  • Xu Lu
    • 1
  • Shaoxiao Zeng
    • 1
    • 2
  • Xuhui Huang
    • 1
  • Zebin Guo
    • 1
    • 2
  • Yafeng Zheng
    • 1
    • 2
  • Yuting Tian
    • 1
    • 2
  • Baodong Zheng
    • 1
    • 2
    Email author
  1. 1.College of Food ScienceFujian Agriculture and Forestry UniversityFuzhouPeople’s Republic of China
  2. 2.Institute of Food Science and TechnologyFujian Agriculture and Forestry UniversityFuzhouPeople’s Republic of China

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