Flavonoids: chemistry, biochemistry and applications

Flavonoids: chemistry, biochemistry and applications 

O M Andersen, K R Markham (eds) 

Boca Raton, US: CRC Press | 2006 | 1256pp | ?140.00 (HB) | ISBN 9780849320217 

Reviewed by Paul A Kroon

This book is the latest in a series of what are widely considered as flavonoid ’bibles’. It is a must-have source of reference material for anyone actively researching or interested in flavonoids, whether it be the chemistry or analysis of this hugely diverse and numerous class of plant secondary metabolites, their biosynthesis, the role they play in plant physiology, the levels that are in the plants we eat as foods, or their interactions with the body after they are consumed. The book comprises a compilation of reviews that provide an update from the last in The Flavonoids  series that began with the 1975 Flavonoids volume that was edited by J B Harborne along with T J and H Mabry.  

In keeping with the explosion in the interest in flavonoids as biologically active dietary components, this latest work has an increase in content concerned with flavonoids in foods and their impact on human health. But, it still maintains an emphasis on the chemistry and analysis of flavonoids, with updated reference material concerned with new flavonoid structures, and sections concerned specifically with the latest analytical techniques that have facilitated further advances in flavonoids research over the past decade or so. Since the last work in the series was published in 1994, this latest book is timely - there has been a huge quantity of new data published in the period since 1993. 

I found some of the chapters easy to read and informative in the style of a textbook aimed at researchers and other professionals with an interest in these compounds, while other chapters were presented (deliberately) as reference material. I found both useful in my capacity as a scientist actively researching in this field, and would recommend the book to those in a similar position. It should also be of interest to certain universities that teach courses related to plant secondary products.