Royal jelly (RJ) is an important functional food item that possess several health promoting properties. It has been widely used in commercial medical products, healthy foods and cosmetics in many countries. RJ has been demonstrated to possess numerous functional prop-erties such as antibacterial activity, anti-inflammatory activity, vasodilative andhypotensive activities, disinfectant action, antioxidant activity, antihypercholesterolemicactivity and antitumor activity. Biological activities of RJ are mainly attributed to the bioactive fatty acids, proteins and phenolic compounds. In consideration of potential utilisation, detailed knowledge on the composition of RJ is of major importance. The diversity of applications to which RJ can be put gives this novel food great industrial importance. This review summarises the composition, nutritional value and functional properties of RJ.