Open access peer-reviewed chapter

Phytochemical Constituents and Pharmacological Activities of Strawberry

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Rushendran Rapuru, Sivakumar Bathula and Ilango Kaliappan

Submitted: 20 November 2021 Reviewed: 28 February 2022 Published: 13 June 2022

DOI: 10.5772/intechopen.103973

From the Edited Volume

Recent Studies on Strawberries

Edited by Nesibe Ebru Kafkas

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Strawberry is a widely grown hybrid species of single ovary fruit that is indehiscent and the scientific name of strawberry is Fragaria ananassa belongs to the family Rosaceae which is native to America, Europe, Asia and cultivated worldwide for its fruits. The fruits are rich in vitamin C. The phytochemical constituents such as gallotannin, ellagitannin, ellagic acid anthocyanins, proanthocyanins, catechin, cyanidin, agrimonium, coumaroyl glycosides, pedunculagin, pelargonidin, flavonols, chlorogenic acid, salicylic acid, caffeic acid, and chlorogenic acid have various medicinal benefits like regulating heart function, antidiarrheal, antioxidant, diuretic, decline blood pressure, elevate good cholesterol, esophageal cancer, etc. This chapter deals with nutritional value, phytoconstituents, and its structure along with medicinal uses of Strawberry.


  • Strawberry
  • Fragaria X ananassa
  • Phytochemical constituents
  • Medicinal properties
  • Nutritional facts

1. Introduction

The strawberry is the common familiar fruit that emanated 250 years ago [1] and is consumed worldwide either fresh or processed [2]. The scientific name of strawberry is Fragaria x ananassa and falls under the family Rosaceae which has great medicinal value. The letter “x” in between the botanical name indicates that strawberry is produced due to the hybridization of two species such as Fragaria virginiana and Fragaria chiloensis [3]. The native of Fragaria virginiana is North America and Fragaria chiloensis is Chile, especially due to the shape of a heart and red color it is used as a symbol of venus and Goddess of love [4]. In the 18th century, the fruit was originated in Europe later developed by most of the countries in the 19th century which is suitable in all aspects such as altitude, climate, day length, and type of production. It was produced commercially for immediate consumption as well as a processed form like canned, frozen, juice, and preserved berries [5]. The taxonomical classification of Fragaria x ananassa was listed in Table 1.


Table 1.

Taxonomical classification of Fragaria x ananassa.

The taxonomical classification of Fragaria x ananassa is listed in Table 1 [6]. The various Fragaria ananassa Duch species are available in the universe such as diploids like Fragaria viridis, Fragaria daltoniana, Fragaria nubicola, Fragaria nipponica, Fragaria vesca, Fragaria nilgerrensis, Fragaria iinumae; tetraploids like Fragaria orientalis, Fragaria moupinensis; hexaploids like Fragaria moschata; octaploids like Fragaria X ananassa, Fragaria virginiana, Fragaria ovalis, and their characteristics and with their location are enlisted in Table 2 [7]. This chapter focuses on the phytochemical constituents and pharmacological activities of Fragaraia x ananassa. This chapter will give the information regarding all the phytochemical constituents present in the strawberry, chemical structures of phytoconstituents along with their medicinal uses which may assist researchers for the development of new drugs and also to the common people regarding the medicinal uses such as antioxidants, anticancer, anti-obesity, anti-diabetic, antihypertension, anti-inflammatory, antiosteoporotic, antimicrobial, anthelmintic, immunostimulatory, neuroprotective, anti-platelet, etc. so that they can habituate intake of strawberry in their routine life as a prophylaxis treatment naturally.

Name of the speciesNative locationCharacteristics of fruit
Diploids (2n = 14)
Fragaria viridis Duch.Europe to Central AsiaPink-red in color, aromatic, small, firm, pit seeds.
Fragaria daltoniana J.GayHimalayas (10000–15000 ft)Bright red in a color, tasteless, elongated oval in shape.
Fragaria nubicola Lindl ex. LacaitaHimalayas (5000–13000 ft)Bright red in a color, soft, aromatic, raised seeds, long oval in shape.
Fragaria nipponica MakinoJapan (Honshu island)
Fragaria vesca L.CircumpolarAromatics, soft, red in color, long oval shape, raised seeds.
Fragaria nilgerrensis SchlectSoutheast AsiaPink in color, round, small, unpleasant taste, sunken seeds.
Fragaria iinumae MakinoMountains of JapanLong oval in shape, sunken seeds, tasteless, bright red.
Tetraploids (2n = 18)
Fragaria orientalis LosinkKoreaRound or conical in shape, soft, sunken seeds, aromatic.
Fragaria moupinensis (French.) CardChinaRound, small, sunken seeds, unpleasant taste, pink in color.
Hexaploids (2n = 42)
Fragaria moschata Duch.Europe to KoreaRed in color, soft, irregular to ovoid, aromatic, raised achenes, musky or vinous.
Octaploids (2n = 56)
Fragaria X ananassa Duch.America, Asia, Europe, and cultivated worldwide.Red in color, large and variable in all traits.
Fragaria virginiana Duch.North AmericaSoft, deep red in color, aromatic, sunken seeds, ovoid shape.
Fragaria ovalis (Lehn.)Rocky MountainsPink in color, round, flavorful, small.
Fragaria chiloensis (L.) Duch.Argentina, Hawaii, Cile, North AmericaWhite flesh, round to oblate in shape, small, red-brown in color, firm.
Fragaria inturupensis StaudtJapan
Fragaria mandschurica StaudtManchuria

Table 2.

Different Fragaria ananassa Duch species available worldwide.


2. Nutritional facts of strawberry

Strawberry is familiarly utilized in the industry for making jellies, ice cream, marmalades, yogurts, jam, and other dessert products. It is also used in the making of deodorants and cosmetics for odor and as a flavoring agent. It is abundant in carbohydrates and contains fats (0.3 g) and proteins (0.67 g). It is having a magnificent source of vitamins and contains pantothenic acid, thiamine, riboflavin, vitamin B6, Niacin, vitamin C, Folate, vitamin K and vitamin E. It also contains elements such as potassium, sodium, manganese, iron, zinc, and calcium [8]. Strawberry is selected as the best healthy food choice based on the strawberry nutrient profile Table 3. The contents of dietary fibers and fructose may regulate blood sugar levels. The strawberry seed oil is abundant in unsaturated fatty acids. It contains high content of vitamin C when it aggregates with folate plays a critical role in accentuating the micronutrient content [9]. Folate or folic acid is a highly available supplement in strawberries that helps in the development of a baby during pregnancy [10]. It contains calcium and vitamin D are the supplements that mainly assist in the prevention and treatment of osteoporosis [11]. Iron can treat anemia, production of hemoglobin and prevent disproportionality affects in pregnant women and young children [12, 13]. Vitamin K plays a key role in most of the functions such as an anticancer, insulin-sensitizing molecule, bone-forming, and anti calcification, etc. [14, 15, 16]. Generally, vitamin C is involved in many biological roles such as antioxidant, antithrombotic, antiviral, sepsis treatment, and boost-up immune system. In the present pandemic scenario, especially this supplement is playing a crucial role in the treatment of COVID-19 [17, 18]. The elements like choline, riboflavin, and fat-soluble vitamins like vitamin A, E, and K are having antioxidant properties [19]. The other supplements like pantothenic acid, zinc, manganese, copper, selenium, sodium may assist in immunomodulatory effect and tocopherol having antioxidant activity [20, 21]. The nutrient niacin also plays an important role in controlling hypophosphatemia, cardioprotective and may improve penile erection by elevating blood flow [22, 23, 24].

Water (90.95 g)Calcium (16 mg)Vitamin K
Phylloquinone (2.2 μg)
Energy (32 kcal)Selenium (0.4 mg)Thiamin (0.024 mg)
Vitamin A (0.024 mg, 1 μg)
Total lipid (0.30 g)Manganese (0.386 mg)Vitamin C (58.8 mg)
Vitamin E (0.29 mg)
Ash (0.40 g)Zinc (0.14 mg)Niacin (0.386 mg)
α,β,γ,δ-tocopherol (0.29 mg, 0.01 mg, 0.08 mg, 0.01 mg)
Fructose (2.44 g)Copper (0.048 mg)Riboflavin (0.022 mg)
Glucose (1.99 g)Potassium (153 mg)Vitamin B6 (0.047 mg)
Sucrose (0.47 g)Sodium (1 mg)Pantothenic acid (0.125 mg)
Dietry fibers (2 g)Iron (0.41 mg)Choline (5.7 mg)
Carbohydrates (7.68 g)Magnesium (13 mg)Folate (24 μg)
Protein (0.67 g)Phosphorus (24 mg)Vitamin B12 (0 μg)
Sugar (4.89 g)Betaine (0.2 mg)

Table 3.

Nutritional composition of strawberry per 100 g.


3. Phytochemical constituents

Ni Shi et al. [25] have quantified different active biomolecules by utilizing HPLC under 260, 355, and 500 nm range. The molecules such as carotenoids [26, 27], vitamin C [28, 29, 30], ellagitannin, coumaroyl hexoside, procyanidin dimer, catechin. Phenolic compounds are characterized into three categories.

  1. Anthocyanins like cyanidin glucoside, pelargonidin glucoside [31], pelargonidin rutinoside and pelargonidin malonyl glucoside [32, 33].

  2. Ellagic acid derivatives such as ellagitannin, ellagic acid rhamnoside, agrimoniin and lambertianin.

  3. Flavonols such as quercetin hexuronide, kaempferol glucoside, kaempferol hexuronide, kaempferol malonyl hexoside [34].

Anthocyanins are the most important polyphenolic compounds [35, 36] have been determined by more than different anthocyanin pigments from different varieties. Pelargonidin-3-glucoside is one of the main compounds of anthocyanin which is genetically independent [37, 38, 39, 40]. Conjugation of arabinose, rutinose, and rhamnose are the most common substituting sugar in anthocyanins of strawberries [41, 42]. Ellagitannins are the combination of ellagic acid and hexahydroxydiphenic acid but the aggregation of gallotannins is known as hydrolyzable tannins. Phane Quideau., 2009 has been recognized specifically ellagitannins are the active principle in medicinal plants [43]. Koponen et al., screened and analyzed ellagitannins from food consumed by an individual in Finland. The specific compounds such as Ellagitannin, p-Coumaroyl hexose, HHDP-galloyl-glucose, Bis-HHDP-glucose, Galloyl-HHDP-glucose, Dimer of galloyl-bis-HHDP, Sanguiin H-6, Galloyl-bis-HHDP-glucose, Methyl-EA-pentose conjugates, Ellagic acid, Ellagic acid pentoside are detected.. It also contains other phenolic compounds like flavonols which are recognized as kaempferol and quercetin derivatives [44]. The total polyphenol molecules of Fragaria x ananassa are enlisted in Table 4 [45, 46, 47].

Phenolic acids
Hydrolyzable tannins
Hydroxycinnamic acids
Ellagitannin, p-Coumaroyl hexose
Dimer of galloyl-bis-HHDP
Sanguiin H-6
Methyl-EA-pentose conjugates
Ellagic acid, Ellagic acid pentoside
[46, 47]
FlavanolsProanthocyanidin trimer
Proanthocyanidin B1 (EC-4,8-C)
Proanthocyanidin B3 (C-4,8-C)
Pelargonidin-disacharide (hexose þ
pentose) acylated with acetic acid

Table 4.

List of polyphenol molecules present in Fragaria x ananassa.


4. Pharmacological activity

Basu et al., Youdim et al., and Mazz were reported that the strawberry is having a special role in cardiovascular diseases, when this fruit included in the regular diet it will inhibit platelet aggregation and inflammation, improve endothelial function, plasma lipid profile, elevate low-density lipid profile which is oxidation resistance and also modulate the metabolism of eicosanoid [46, 48, 49, 50]. Most of the researchers evaluated that due to the presence of vitamin C and phenolic compounds in the strawberry having antioxidant capacity [51, 52, 53, 54]. It has been concluded that strawberry is 40 times more efficient than cereals, 10 times more efficient than vegetables, and 4 times more efficient than other fruits [55]. The polyphenols like anthocyanin, 2,5-dimethyl-4-hydroxy-3-[2H] furanone, and ellagic acid shown the antioxidant property (in vitro model) and have high bioavailability (in vivo model) [56, 57]. The specific phytoconstituents like carotenoids, phytosterols, vitamins (A, C, and folic acid), vitamin precursors like calcium and selenium, polyphenols, and triterpene esters are reported chemoprotective activity in carcinogenesis (multi-stage) [58, 59]. Depending on the strawberry species anthocyanin [60, 61, 62, 63, 64], ellagitannins, and proanthocyanidins having anti-tumorigenic properties against multiple human cancer cells of in vitro and in vivo animal models [65, 66]. Tamara et al., 2019 evaluated that the methanolic extract of strawberry significantly declines 3 T3-L1 adipocyte differentiation, CCAAT adipogenic transcription factors, C/REB-α enhancer-binding protein, peroxisome proliferation-activated receptor (PPAR-γ), resistin, angiotensinogen and it stimulates the AMP-activated protein kinase (AMPKα), Sirtuin 1 (Sirt1) and peroxisome proliferator-activated receptor-gamma coactivator 1-alpha (PGC 1α) suggested that mitochondrial biogenesis elevation. Their evidence concluded that the strawberry methanolic extract has a capability of antiobesity activity [67]. Mahendri et al., 2020 their team effort was reported that anthocyanin is one of the photo molecules present in the strawberry having an anti-diabetic effect by declining blood sugar levels, improving endothelial dysfunction, and blood vessel inflammation [68, 69]. Susan (2010), Pinto (2008), and Apostolidis (2006) et al., evaluated that the strawberry is having the potency to treat hypertension by inhibiting α-glucosidase, α-amylase, and angiotensin-converting enzyme activities which are linked to type-2 diabetes. They finally concluded that the strawberry is having antihypertension properties [70, 71, 72]. Gasapirrini et al., 2017 they screened and proposed that the strawberry is having an anti-inflammatory effect by activation of the Nrf2-AMPK pathway and NF-kB pathway which also elevates the antioxidant defense [73]. The list of pharmacological properties are incorporated in Figure 1.

Figure 1.

Pharmacological properties of strawberry.

Al-Sanea et al., 2021 they made tremendous work by selecting the combination of ginger and strawberry methanolic extract were used for silver nanoparticle synthesis (AgNPs) and evaluated by utilizing TEM analysis, Fourier-transform infrared, spectroscopy ultraviolet–visible spectroscopy, zeta potential, dynamic light scattering technique, and docking studies that the combination is having antiviral activity against SARS-CoV-2 by targeting proteins like Mpro, ADP ribose phosphatase, NSP14, NSP16, PLpro, AAK1 and Cathepsin L [74]. Fisetin is one of the phytomolecules found in strawberries and other fruits as well as having different biological activities such as antioxidant, anti-inflammatory, anti-osteoporotic, anticancer, antimicrobial, and antidiabetic activities [75]. Especially Kaempferol glycosides like kaempferitrin (kaempferol 3,7-dirhamnoside) is one of the biomolecules of flavonoids possessing different pharmacological activities such as anti-apoptotic, pro-apoptotic, anthelmintic, ant-convulsant, antidepressant, immunostimulatory, cardio-protective, and natriuretic [76]. Afrin. S et al., their immense work has proved that the combination of strawberry tree honey and 5-fluorouracil is effective in adenocarcinoma and metastatic colon cancer. The combined treatment declined cell viability, oxidative stress, elevated MAPK, ATF-6, XBP-1 markers, enhanced cell cycle arrest, apoptotic genes, and modulates regulatory genes in cell line studies [77]. Specifically, anthocyanin and ellagic acid phytomolecules have a neuroprotective property from oxidative damage [78, 79]. Alarcon et al., 2015 their team effort finally reported that the strawberry possesses anti-platelet activity by declining specific signaling molecules such as sP-selectin, sCD40L, RANTES, and IL-1b levels [80]. The natural therapy of strawberries gives relief to those who are suffering from constipation and hemorrhoids [81].


5. Conclusion

Strawberry is the only fruit available in all the seasons, mildly acid to bracingly sour taste to eat depending on the ripeness and individual variety. It contains many micronutrients, minerals, and most fat and water-soluble vitamins with rich quantities due to the presence of their phytochemical constituents. It is capable of treating different diseases such as inflammation, hypertension, obesity, diabetes, cancer, scavenge free radicals, constipation, hemorrhoids, cardiac, nerve disorders, etc., and phytomolecules like flavonoids and phenolic compounds are playing a crucial role in it.


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Written By

Rushendran Rapuru, Sivakumar Bathula and Ilango Kaliappan

Submitted: 20 November 2021 Reviewed: 28 February 2022 Published: 13 June 2022