, Volume 144, Issue 4, pp 567-571
Date: 15 Jan 2013

Photophysics and hydrolytic stability of betalains in aqueous trifluoroethanol

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Abstract

Betalains are natural antioxidant pigments responsible for the visible fluorescence of flowers. Although these compounds are almost exclusively soluble in water, they are very sensitive to both hydrolysis and water-catalyzed isomerization. We show that three representative betalains are soluble in 2,2,2-trifluoroethanol (TFE) and that the hydrolytic stability of these model compounds in hydroalcoholic solutions increases with increasing amount of TFE. Furthermore, TFE increases the fluorescence quantum yields of betaxanthins.

Graphical abstract

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