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Anthocyanins and betalains

Anthocyanins occur widely in plants, being responsible for their blue, purple, violet, magenta, red and orange coloration; while betalains, consisting of red-violet betacyanins and yellow-orange betaxanthins, occur exclusively in families of the order Caryophyllales. The occurrence of these two classes of pigments is mutually exclusive. Their stability is markedly influenced by environmental and processing factors such as pH, temperature, O2, enzymes and condensation reactions. Due to their inherent instability these pigments, and betalains in particular, have not been widely used as food colorants. However, structural variants of the anthocyanins, i.e. polyacylated and copigmented species, have demonstrated remarkable stability and have great potential for use as stable natural colorants. Anthocyanin and betalain preparations can be used to colour a variety of foods and pharmaceuticals with compatible physicochemical properties, yielding highly coloured and high quality products. Their application could be enhanced, however, with new sources and stable structural variants, modification of current processes and foods, and technological advances (e.g. industry-scale extractions/purifications, microbial purifications, biotechnology) that would make purer and more stable preparations available. In this chapter the chemistry and biochemistry of anthocyanins and betalains—their structure and distribution, functions, biosynthesis, factors influencing their stability, methods of extraction and analysis, and current and potential sources and uses—are reviewed.

Anthocyanins و betalains

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