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Betalains: Application in Functional Foods

  • Wee Sim Choo
Living reference work entry

Latest version View entry history

Part of the Reference Series in Phytochemistry book series (RSP)

Abstract

Betalains are plant derived natural pigments that are presently gaining popularity for use as natural colorants in the food industry. Although betalains from red beet are one of the most widely used food colorant, betalains are not as well studied as compared to other natural pigments such as anthocyanins, carotenoids, and chlorophylls. This chapter describes the chemical properties of betalains including their biosynthesis. Two main classes of betalains, betacyanins and betaxanthins, are described. Current reports on the biological and pharmacological properties of betalains from four main sources such as red beet, amaranth, prickly pear, and red pitahaya are also described. The biological and pharmacological properties of betalains that are covered in this chapter include antioxidant, anticancer, anti-lipidemic, and antimicrobial activities. Lastly, this chapter describes the application of betalains as natural colorants and other potential application in functional foods.

Keywords

Amaranth Beetroot Betacyanin Betaxanthin Cactus pear Colorant Prickly pear Red dragon fruit Red pitahaya 

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Copyright information

© Springer International Publishing AG 2018

Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.School of ScienceMonash University Malaysia, Jalan Lagoon SelatanBandar SunwayMalaysia

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