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Anthocyanins - Anthocyanin Color Source
Anthocyanins - Anthocyanin Color Source
Anthocyanins are one of the most abundant natural pigments available. Anthocyanins are the vacuolar pigments found in almost every part of higher plants. The word "anthocyanin" is derived from two Greek words, anthos (flower) and kyanos (blue). There are six types of anthocyanins all exhibiting different stability profile based on their structure, supporting compounds, process and chemicals used for extraction and food processing.

Anthocyanin pigments change their color with the change in the pH. So based on the pH, anthocyanins can be red, blue or purple. Because of this property of changing anthocyanin color, this pigment is also used as a pH indicator. Anthocyanin pigments change from blue in bases and red from acids.

Anthocyanin pigments are odorless and flavourless. You can find anthocyanin pigments in every part of the higher plants like stems, roots, leaves, fruits and flowers. Till 2006 more than 550 anthocyanins had been discovered.

Anthocyanin pigments are responsible for the red, purple, and blue colors of many fruits, vegetables, cereal grains, and flowers. These pigments undergo reversible structural transformations with a change in pH manifested by strikingly different absorbance spectra. Anthocyanins being natural colorant appear in the exempt from certification in the FDA list but permits restricted use. They are not used in drugs and cosmetics. They are used in beverages, fruit fillings, snacks, dairy products and confectionery.

Anthocyanin Pigment Properties

Color Red, Purple and Blue
Source Red Cabbage, Strawberries, Grape Skin, Blueberries, Raspberries
Color Pigments Cyanidin, Delphinidin, Malvidin, Peonidin, Petunidin, Pelargonidin
Solubility Soluble in aqueous solutions
Stability Each pigment has different stability
Brighter in lower pH range
Becomes blue at higher pH
Other Properties Antimicrobial Properties
Antioxidant properties
Anti-cancer properties

International Coding

Cyanidin CAS# 528-58-5
Delphinidin CAS# 528-53-0
Malvidin CAS# 643-84-5
Peonidin CAS# 134-01-0
Petunidin CAS# 1429-30-7
Pelargonidin CAS# 134-04-3 E163

Anthocyanin as Food Additive

Natural anthocyanin pigments act as a secondary metabolites and anthocyanins are food additives with e number 163. All anthocyanins have great antioxidant properties in vitro but scientists are not sure whether this antioxidant property is conserved after consuming the plant carrying it or not.

Types of Anthocyanins

Sources and Usesof Anthocyanins

Berries are the rich source of anthocyanin color and natural anthocyanin pigments. Also you can get it from grapes, black carrots and other fruits and vegetables. The anthocyanin color is water soluble so chiefly used as a coloring agent in different kinds of food.

Anthocyanin color is used in jams, sugar confectioneries, jellies, soft drinks and frozen products.

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