Monatshefte für Chemie - Chemical Monthly

, Volume 144, Issue 4, pp 567–571 | Cite as

Photophysics and hydrolytic stability of betalains in aqueous trifluoroethanol

  • Fernando H. Bartoloni
  • Letícia Christina P. Gonçalves
  • Ana Clara B. Rodrigues
  • Felipe Augusto Dörr
  • Ernani Pinto
  • Erick L. BastosEmail author
Original Paper


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


Natural pigments Dyes Hydrolysis Schiff bases Solvent effect 



Funding was provided by the São Paulo Research Foundation (FAPESP) (07/00684-6, 10/15042-2, 11/23036-5). F.H.B. was supported by a FAPESP (10/16082-8) postdoctoral fellowship. L.C.P.G. was supported by FAPESP (07/59407-1) and Coordination for the Improvement of Higher Education Personnel (CAPES) (PNPD 427-10/2009) fellowships. E.L.B and E.P. thank the CNPq for productivity fellowships.

Supplementary material

706_2012_883_MOESM1_ESM.docx (1.3 mb)
Supplementary material 1 (DOCX 1373 kb)


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Copyright information

© Springer-Verlag Wien 2013

Authors and Affiliations

  • Fernando H. Bartoloni
    • 2
  • Letícia Christina P. Gonçalves
    • 2
  • Ana Clara B. Rodrigues
    • 2
  • Felipe Augusto Dörr
    • 3
  • Ernani Pinto
    • 3
  • Erick L. Bastos
    • 1
    Email author
  1. 1.Departamento de Química Fundamental, Instituto de QuímicaUniversidade de São PauloSão PauloBrazil
  2. 2.Centro de Ciências Naturais e HumanasUniversidade Federal do ABCSão PauloBrazil
  3. 3.Departamento de Análises Clínicas e Toxicológicas, Faculdade de Ciências FarmacêuticasUniversidade de São PauloSão PauloBrazil

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