Anthocyanins are water-soluble vacuolar pigments that may appear red, purple, or blue according to pH. They belong to a parent class of molecules called flavonoids synthesized via the phenylpropanoid pathway. Anthocyanins occur in all tissues of higher plants, including leaves, stems, roots, flowers, and fruits. Anthoxanthins are their clear, white to yellow counterparts occurring in plants. Anthocyanins are derivatives of anthocyanidins which include pendant sugars.
Anthocyanins are powerful antioxidants in vitro. This antioxidant property may be conserved even after the plant which produced the anthocyanin is consumed by another organism, possibly explaining why fruits and vegetables with colorful skins and pulp are considered nutritious. Research continues to be underway as to the potential range of health benefits from anthocyanins.
Are purple tomatoes enriched in anti-oxidants the future for genetically modified food? In this interview, we speak to Nathan Pumplin to find out more!
A natural brilliant blue coloring has been discovered by an international team of researchers including chemists at the University of California, Davis. The new cyan blue, obtained from red cabbage, could be an alternative to synthetic blue food colorings such as the widely used FD&C Blue No. 1.
A Boyce Thompson Institute-led team has identified genes enabling peaches and their wild relatives to tolerate stressful conditions -- findings that could help the domesticated peach adapt to climate change.
A team of researchers at the Max Planck Institute for Chemical Ecology in Jena, Germany, has discovered that strigolactones, a class of novel plant hormones, mediate the fine-tuning of the production plant defensive substances in the stem of plants of the wild tobacco species Nicotiana attenuata.