Skip to main content
ARS Home » Pacific West Area » Albany, California » Western Regional Research Center » Healthy Processed Foods Research » Research » Publications at this Location » Publication #114573


item Takeoka, Gary
item Dao, Lan

Submitted to: Book Chapter
Publication Type: Book / Chapter
Publication Acceptance Date: 4/1/2002
Publication Date: 4/1/2002
Citation: Takeoka, G.R., Dao, L.T. 2002. Anthocyanins. Book Chapter 5, Methods of Analysis for Functional Foods and Nutraceuticals, Functional Foods and Nutraceuticals Series. CRC Press p. 218-241.

Interpretive Summary: Anthocyanins are the most important group of water-soluble pigments visible to the human eye. They are responsible for most of the red, purple, and blue colors exhibited by flowers, fruits, and other plant tissues. One of the most important functions of anthocyanins is the attraction of insects and birds for purposes of pollination and seed dispersal. There is current tmedical interest in anthocyanins due to their antioxidant and anti-inflammatory activity and their ability to decrease capillary fragility. Lipid peroxidation is strongly associated with aging and carcinogenesis. Dietary antioxidants such as anthocyanins may help provide protection from oxidative damage. The importance of natural antioxidants has increased greatly since there are growing safety concerns about synthetic antioxidants such as BHT and BHA. Anthocyanins also have considerable potential in the food industry as natural colorants to replace esynthetic dyes. This chapter describes techniques for the isolation and characterization of anthocyanins from natural products.

Technical Abstract: This chapter provides information on the chemical constitution and structural elucidation of anthocyanins. The most important classical techniques as well as advanced procedures for anthocyanin analysis are detailed. The use of solid phase extraction (SPE), high-speed countercurrent chromatography (HSCCC) and high performance liquid chromatography (HPLC) for the fractionation and separation of anthocyanins are described. Modern spectroscopic techniques such as fast atom bombardment (FAB) mass spectometry, plasma desorption mass spectometry (PDMS), matrix-assisted laser desorption/ionization (MALDI) coupled with time-of-flight (TOF) mass analysis, electrospray ionization (ESI) mass spectrometry and two-dimensional nuclear magnetic resonance (NMR) spectroscopy have made a significant impact on anthocyanin studies and their application is explained. NMR studies have been particularly valuable in elucidating the three dimensional conformation of anthocyanins The possible folding of acylated anthocyanins may account for their increased color stability and this knowledge may aid in developing stable anthocyanins for food pigmentation.