Submitted to: Book Chapter
Publication Type: Book / Chapter
Publication Acceptance Date: 2/4/2008
Publication Date: 3/17/2008
Citation: Takeoka, G.R., Dao, L.T. 2008. Anthocyanins. Book Chapter. In: Methods of Analysis for Functional Foods and Nutraceuticals, 2nd Edition, Hurst, J., Ed.: CRC Press, Taylor & Francis Group: Boca Raton. 247-276.
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 medical interest in anthocyanins due to 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 synthetic dyes. This chapter describes techniques for the isolation and characterization of anthocyanins from natural products.
Technical Abstract: This chapter provides information on the isolation, separation 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), capillary electrophoresis (CE), 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 spectrometry, plasma desorption mass spectrometry (PDMS), matrix-assisted laser desorption/ionization (MALDI) coupled with time-of-flight (TOF) mass spectrometry, 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.