A Review of the General Characteristics and Functions of Acorns

도토리의 일반 성분과 도토리 추출물의 기능에 관한 연구 고찰

  • Received : 2015.12.07
  • Accepted : 2016.02.18
  • Published : 2016.02.29


This study was conducted to investigate the health effects of the general components of acorns in animals. In Korea, acorns have been used as food material in the form of acorn starch. Acorns contain tannin, gallic acid, digallic acid, and gallotannin. Therefore, the health effects of acorns as functional food are actively being studied. The chemical composition of acorns may vary according to the harvest time, region, and breed. Acorns have excellent antioxidant properties and might be beneficial in controlling hyperlipidemia, obesity, cardiovascular disease, and dementia, as well as strengthening immune competence. Further study is necessary to better understand the benefits of acorns, as it is expected to represent a large part of the food industry.


acorn;general characteristics;tannin;function


  1. Chae SK, Yu TJ. 1973. Studies on the hydrolysis of tannin in food by fungal tannase. Korean J Food Sci Technol 5:17-22
  2. Choi KS, Shin KO, Kim YH, Yoo IS, Jeong H, Kim KS, Lee JS. 2013. The effect of Prunus sargentii R. seed oil on the lipid profile in serum in mice. Korean J Food & Nutr 26:670-677
  3. Choi SH, Bock JY, Nam SH, Bae JS, Choi WY. 1998. Effect of tannic substances from acorn (Quercus acutissima Carruthers) on the storage quality of rice wine. Korean J Food Sci Technol 30:1420-1425
  4. Chung HK, Shin MJ, Cha YJ, Lee KH. 2011. Effect of onion peel extracts on blood lipid profile and blood coagulation in high fat fed SD rats. Korean J Food & Nutr 24:442-450
  5. Chung MY, Nason J, Chung MG, Kim KJ, Park CW, Sun BY, Pak JH. 2002. Landscape-level spatial genetic structure in Quercus acutissima (Fagaceae). Am J Bot 89:1229-1236
  6. Ji WD, Jeong HC, Lee SJ, Chun YG. 1997. Antimicrobial activity and distilled components of garlic and giger. J Agric Chem Biotechnol 40:514-518
  7. Kang MH, Lee JH, Lee JS, Kim JH, Chung HK. 2004. Effect of acorn supplementation on lipid profiles and antioxidant enzyme activities in high fat diet-induced obese rats. Korean J Nutr 37:169-175
  8. Kim BN. 1995. A study on the literature review of acorn in Korea. Korea J Soc Food Sci 11:158-163
  9. Kim CS, Shin ET. 1975. Studies on the utilization of varieties of acorn in Korea. Korean J Appl Microbiol Bioeng 3:17-22
  10. Kim JO, Lee MJ. 1976. Studies on some physico-chemical properties of the acorn starch. Korean J Food Sci Technol 8:230-235
  11. Kim SH, Lee WK, Choi CS, Cho SM. 2012. Quality characteristics of muffins with added acorn jelly powder and acorn ethanol extract powder. J Korean Soc Food Sci Nutr 41:369-375
  12. Kim YH, Choi KS. 2015. Effect of the Erigeron annuus in vitro antioxidant properties and extract on serum lipid in mice. Korean J Food Nutr 28:387-395
  13. Kwon JH, Kim SJ, Lee JE, Lee SJ, Kim SK, Kim JS, Byun MW. 2002. Physicochemical and organoleptic properties of starch isolated from gamma irradiated acorn. Korean J Food Sci Technol 34:1007-1012
  14. Lee JM, Kim SH. 2008. Antioxidant properties of acorn hotwater extract using response surface methodology. Korean J Food Preserv 15:111-117
  15. Lee MH, Jeone JH, Oh MJ. 1992. Antioxidative activity of gallic acid in acorn extract. J Korean Soc Food Sci Nutr 21:693-700
  16. Lee SH, Lee DI, Cho SY, Jung HJ, Cho SM, Park HJ, Lillehoj HS. 2005. Effects of acorn (Quercus acutissima Carr.) supplementation on the level of acetylcholine and its related enzyme activities in the brain of Demantia mouse model. J Korean Soc Food Sci Nutr 34:738-742
  17. Lee SY, Lee JS, Park SK. 2013. Effects of acorn powder on lifespan and a resistance to oxidative stress in Caenorhabditis elegans. J Korean Soc Food Sci Nutr 42:670-674
  18. Lee WK, Kim SH, Choi CS, Cho SM. 2012. Study on the quality properties of hardtack added with acorn jelly powder and acorn ethanol extract. J Korean Soc Food Sci Nutr 41:376-382
  19. Lopes GK, Schulman HM, Hermes-lima M. 1999. Polyphenol tannic acid inhibits hydroxy radical formation form fenton reaction by complexing ferrous ions. Biochem Biophys Acta 1472:142-152
  20. Matsumoto N, Okushio K, Hara Y. 1998. Effect of blacktea polyphenols on plasma lipids in cholesterol-fed rats. J Nutr Sci Vitaminol 44:337-342
  21. Na HS, Kim K. 2002. Effect of soaking conditions on storage characteristics of acorn mook. J Korean Soc Food Sci Nutr 31:221-224
  22. Na HS, Oh GS, Park JH, Kim Kim K, Kim SK. 2000. Granular properties of acorn flour at various soaking conditions. J Korean Soc Food Sci Nutr 29:766-769
  23. Nakayama T, Hiramitsu M, Osawa T, Kawakishi S. 1993. The protectiverole of gallic acid esters in bacterial cytotoxicity and SOS responses induced by hydrogen peroxide. Mutat Res 303:29-34
  24. Oh HL, Yang KH, Park SY, Yoon JH, Shim EK, Lee KJ, Kim MR. 2012. Quality characteristics and antioxidative activities of acorn starch mook added spirulina and soy protein. J Korean Soc Food Sci Nutr 41:1515-1520
  25. Oh MH, Houghton PJ, Whang WK, Cho JH. 2004. Screening of Korean herbal medicines used to improve cognitive function for anti-cholinesterase activity. Phytomedicine 11:544-548
  26. Park JY, Koo SJ. 1984. A study on the tanin components and physical properties of acorn starch. -Gallic acid contents and viscosity- Korean J Nutr 17:41-49
  27. Ryu HS. 2010. Effects of water extract acorn on mouse immune cell activation ex vivo. Korean J Food & Nutr 23:135-140
  28. Seo JH, Jeong YJ, Shin SR, Kim KS. 2000. Effects of tannins from astringent persimmons in alcohol fermentation for persimmon vinegars. J Korean Soc Food Sci Nutr 29:407-411
  29. Shim TH, Jin YS, Sa JH, Shin IC, Heo SI, Wang MH. 2004. Studies for component analysis and antioxidative evaluation in acorn powders. Korean J Food Sci Technol 36:800-803
  30. Shin DH, Cho JS, Jung ST. 1993. Study on antioxidant effects of acorn (Quercus acutissima Carruthers) components-II. Antioxidant effect of acornic compound. J Korean Oil Chem Soc 10:103-109
  31. Sung IS, Kim MJ, Cho SY. 1997a. Effect of Quercus acutissima Carruthers extracts on the lipid metabolism. J Korean Soc Food Sci Nutr 26:327-333
  32. Sung IS, Park EM, Lee MK, Han EK, Jang JY, Cho SY. 1997b. Effect of acorn extracts on the antioxidative enzyme system. J Korean Soc Food Sci Nutr 26:494-500
  33. William RM. 1997. Oxidative stress hypothesis in Alzhemier's disease. Free Radic Biol Med 23:134-147
  34. Wursch P. 1979. Influence of tannin-rich Carob Pod fiber on the cholesterol metabolism in the rat. J Nutr 109:685-692
  35. Yang KH, Ahn JK, Kim HJ, Lee JY, You BR, Song JE, Oh HL, Kim NY, Kim MR. 2011. Properties of nutritional compositions and antioxidant activity of acorn crude starch by geographical origins. J Korean Soc Food Sci Nutr 40:928-934
  36. Yang KH, Lee KJ, Kim MR. 2012a. Analysis of gel powders created from different acorn crude starches to determine country of origin. J Korean Soc Food Sci Nutr 41:816-822
  37. Yang KH, Lee KJ, Kim MR. 2012b. Gel properties of mook manufactured from acorns harvested in various countries according to storage period. J Korean Soc Food Sci Nutr 41:1168-1175
  38. Yang KH, You BR, Kim HJ, Lee JY, Kim MJ, Kim MR. 2011. Gelatinization properties of crude starches prepared from acorns harvested in various countries. J Korean Soc Food Sci Nutr 40:1279-1284
  39. Yokozawa T, Chen CP, Dong E, Tanaka T, Nonaka GI, Nishioka I. 1998. Study on the inhibitory effect of tannin and flavonois against the 1,1-diphenyl-2-picrylhydrazyl (DPPH) radical. Biochem Pharmacol 56:213-222
  40. Yook GJ, Lee HJ, Kim MK. 2002. Effect of chestnut and acorn on lipid metabolism, antioxidative capacity and antithrombotic capacity in rats. Korean J Nutr 35:171-182
  41. Yugarani T, Tan BK, Das NP. 1993. The effects of tannic acid on serum lipid parameters and tissue lipid peroxides in the spontaneously hypertensive and Wister Kyoto rats. Planta Med 59:28-31
  42. Zeng XL, Fu GM, Tian K, Sun JX, Xiong HB, Huang XZ, Jiang ZY. 2014. Acutissimanide, a new lignan with antioxidant activity isolated from the bark of Quercus acutissima Carruth. Nat Prod Res 28:1364-1370
  43. Zhang YY, Fang YM, Yu MK, Li XX, Xia T. 2013. Molecular characterization and genetic structure of Quercus acutissima germplasm in China using microsatellites. Mol Biol Rep 40:4083-4090

Cited by

  1. Citric Acid Production from Acorn Starch by Tannin Tolerance Mutant Aspergillus niger AA120 pp.1559-0291, 2018,