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Food Chemistry 197 (2016) 1280–1285

Contents lists available at ScienceDirect

Food Chemistry
journal homepage: www.elsevier.com/locate/foodchem

Review

Stabilization of betalains: A review


Mohammad Imtiyaj Khan
Department of Biotechnology, Gauhati University, Gopinath Bordoloi Nagar, Guwahati 781014, India

a r t i c l e i n f o a b s t r a c t

Article history: Betalains are vacuolar pigments composed of a nitrogenous core structure, betalamic acid [4-(2-oxoethy
Received 13 June 2015 lidene)-1,2,3,4-tetrahydropyridine-2,6-dicarboxylic acid]. This compound consists of a chromophore
Received in revised form 18 October 2015 substructure 1,7-diazaheptamethin. Betalamic acid condenses with imino compounds (cyclo-DOPA or
Accepted 10 November 2015
its glucosyl derivatives), or amines and/or their derivatives to form a variety of betacyanins (violet)
Available online 11 November 2015
and betaxanthins (yellow), respectively. These pigments exhibit absorption maxima in between
532–550 nm and 457–485 nm, respectively. These colors are currently in use as food additives as they
Keywords:
are bioactive and completely safe to consume. However, owing to poor stability, their potential
Betacyanins
Betaxanthins
application in pharmaceuticals and cosmetics is severely compromised. There is a lack of scientific
Complex formation reports highlighting their superior tinctorial strength including fluorescence, and their excellent water
Encapsulation solubility. For widening the color spectrum and their usage, various betalain-rich extracts have been
Copigmentation reviewed here, focusing on their matrix effects on stability vis-a-vis purified pigments of different struc-
tural make-up. This review also encompasses work carried out in the past related to stability/stabilization
of betalains and future research direction for the same.
Ó 2015 Elsevier Ltd. All rights reserved.

Contents

1. Introduction . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 1280
2. Stabilization . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 1281
2.1. Complex formation . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 1282
2.2. Copigmentation . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 1283
2.3. Encapsulation . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 1283
3. Conclusions. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 1284
Acknowledgements . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 1284
References . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 1284

1. Introduction (protonated 1,2,4,7,7-pentasubstitued 1,7-diazaheptamethin sys-


tem) (Fig. 1a). Spontaneous condensation of betalamic acid with
There are about 75 betalains structurally and unambiguously cyclo-DOPA or its glucosyl derivatives, and amines and/or their
identified from plants belonging to more than 15 families classed derivatives gives rise to violet betacyanins and yellow betaxan-
under Caryophyllales, wherein they serve as chemosystematic thins, respectively (Fig. 1b and c). The absorption (kmax) in water
markers (Khan & Giridhar, 2015). Betalains are made up of beta- of betalamic acid, betaxanthins, and betacyanins is 424 nm,
lamic acid [4-(2-oxoethylidene)-1,2,3,4-tetrahydropyridine-2,6-di 471.5 ± 13.5 nm, and 541 ± 9 nm, respectively (Khan & Giridhar,
carboxylic acid], a nitrogen containing pigment core structure 2015). The presence of ‘1,7-diaza’ substructure prompted some
researchers to claim betalains as chromoalkaloids (Reznik, 1981),
but their stability in slightly acidic pH disproved the claim
E-mail addresses: imtiyaj@hotmail.com, imtiyaj@gauhati.ac.in

http://dx.doi.org/10.1016/j.foodchem.2015.11.043
0308-8146/Ó 2015 Elsevier Ltd. All rights reserved.
M.I. Khan / Food Chemistry 197 (2016) 1280–1285 1281

4
R1O 5 9 3
a b H

O R2O 6 8 N+ 2 COOH
7 10
11
12
13
14 18
H H
16
HOOC N COOH HOOC 15 N 17 COOH
H 19 H 20
Betalamic acid Betacyanins

R1= H, R2= H; Betanidin


c HO
H R
+
N
HO O
R1= HO (glucosyl) or derivatives, R2= H;
2
3 OH Betanin group (17 structures)
HO Bougainvillein-r group (4 structures)
4 HO O
H R1= HO (2-glucuronyl glucosyl) or derivatives, R2= H;
HOOC Amaranthin group (5 structures)
HOOC 5 N COOH HO O O
H HO
R= amino acid, amine or OH
derivatives: Betaxanthins
(32 structures) R1= H, R2= Glucosyl or derivatives; Gomphrenin group (4 structures)
Bougainvillein-v group (11 structures)

Fig. 1. Representative structures of betalains.

(Delgado-Vargas, Jiménez, & Paredes-López, 2000). Betalains show betalains has been reviewed (Azeredo, 2009; Delgado-Vargas
greatest stability in the pH range 4–6 and if stored at 4 °C. Hence, et al., 2000; Herbach, Stintzing, et al., 2006; Stintzing & Carle,
these pigments could be used as colorants in frozen foods, low 2007, 2008). The focus of future research should be on the stabi-
temperature dairy products and short-shelf life foods. However, lization of betalains as these pigments remain under-utilized in
these pigments are prone to various physicochemical factors, such many industries, such as pharmaceuticals and cosmetics, owing
as light, heat, high pH (>6), air and metals, such as Fe3+, Fe2+, Cu2+, mainly to poor stability. So far, there is no review of the reports
Cu+, Sn2+, Al3+, Hg2+, Cr3+ (reviewed by Herbach, Stintzing, & Carle, on stabilization techniques employed for betalains. This review
2006). Due to this, betalains have limited applications in foods. On encompasses the literature on stabilization of betalains in order
the other hand, betalains could be stabilized to a certain extent by to highlight the positive aspects of betalain stability.
antioxidants, such as ascorbic acid (AA), isoascorbic acid, citric
acid, and other preservatives, whereas antioxidant phenolic com-
pounds have no stabilization effect on the pigments because degra-
dation of betalains does not involve free radical formation (Attoe & 2. Stabilization
von Elbe, 1985; Pasch & von Elbe, 1979). Organic acids, such as lac-
tic acid, acetic acid and even betalamic acid (the chromophore of Betanin (EEC No. E162), approved as a red food colorant by the
betalains), tend to dissociate completely at pH P 5 and act as European Union (Downham & Collins, 2000) and under Sec-
nucleophiles (Tutone, Lauria, & Almerico, 2015). As a result of this, tion 73.40 in chapter 21 of the Code of Federal Regulations (CFR),
the presence of organic acid may either enhance the first order part of the Food and Drug Administration (FDA) in the USA
degradation process of betalains by carrying out a nucleophilic (Griffiths, 2005), has been in use as a colorant for food products,
attack on N 1 (Kearsley & Katsaboxakis, 1980), or produce no sta- such as hard candies, yogurts, ice creams, salad dressings, ready-
bilizing effect. However, it appears that glucose oxidase can reduce made frostings, cake mixes, meat substitutes, powdered drink
pigment degradation, particularly through oxidation, by removing mixes, gravy mixes, marshmallow candies, soft drinks and gelatin
dissolved oxygen from the medium (Mikova & Kyzlink, 1985). In desserts (Delgado-Vargas et al., 2000). In most food colorant appli-
addition, oxalic acid may protect betalains from digestion in the cations, an estimated quantity of less than 50 mg betanin/kg could
GI tract (Eastwood & Nyhlin, 1995). Betalain stability was produce the desired color (Delgado-Vargas et al., 2000). The usages
improved when mixed with b-cyclodextrin (Drunkler, Fett, & of betalains have been greatly reduced owing to its poor stability,
Bordignon Luiz, 2006), probably due to the formation of a 1:1 which poses a significant problem when competing with synthetic
inclusion complex (Norasiha, Mimi Sakinah, & Rohaida, 2009). dyes (Ozela, 2004). A list of factors that reduce/enhance betalain
Similarly, maltodextrin also could stabilize betacyanins, and indi- stability is presented in Fig. 2a. Manchali, Murthy, Nagaraju, and
caxanthin through encapsulation carried out by spray-drying (Cai Neelwarne (2013) listed the possible changes that betalains may
& Corke, 2000; Gandía-Herrero, Jiménez-Atiénzar, Cabanes, undergo during degradation, such as breakdown of the aldimine
García-Carmona, & Escribano, 2010). From the information bond, dehydrogenation, deglycosylation, decarboxylation and
provided above, it is clear that besides antioxidants, inclusion com- isomerisation (Fig. 2b). In order to increase its commercial applica-
plexes and microencapsulation, metal chelating agent EDTA also tions, betalain pigments need to resist or slow down these changes
stabilizes betalains by preventing metal-induced bleaching through stabilization techniques. Among the various ways of
through the formation of an EDTA–metal complex (Attoe & von stabilizing betalains, complex formation, copigmentation, and
Elbe, 1985). Literature pertaining to the chromatic stability of encapsulation are presented as promising techniques.
1282 M.I. Khan / Food Chemistry 197 (2016) 1280–1285

a shown that b-CD forms a 1:1 inclusion complex with betanin


(Norasiha et al., 2009), which was confirmed through IR spec-
troscopy and X-ray diffraction studies. Notably, the inclusion com-
plex was clearly different from the 1:1 physical mixture. a, b, c-CD
are oligosaccharides containing six to eight D-glucopyranose resi-
dues connected by a-1,4-glycosidic bonds. These macromolecules
are arranged in a toroidal shape wherein the central cavity is
hydrophobic, and the outer surface is hydrophilic with exposed
hydroxyl groups. It has been proposed that a drug/biomolecule
can sit in the cavity forming an inclusion complex with CD
(reviewed by Stella & He, 2008) (Fig. 3), both in the solid and solu-
tion phase. The review also mentioned that among the CDs,
hydroxypropyl-b-CD (HP-b-CD) and sulfobutylether-b-CD (SBE-b-
CD) are not toxic in vivo. Therefore, HP-b-CD and SBE-b-CD appear
to be promising betalain stabilizing agents for food and other
applications. Additionally, CDs improve global sensorial quality
without reducing the aroma of the sample/extract (Andreu-
b Sevilla, López-Nicolás, Carbonell-Barrachina, & García-Carmona,
2011).
R O Recently, a few interesting studies on inorganic matrices as sta-
bilizing agents of betalains have been published. Lima et al. (2009)
HO O O studied various matrices, including c-alumina, Mg-AlO, Mg, Zn-
HO
H AlO, and zeolite for betalain adsorption and sequestration. It was
OH
+ observed, through sophisticated analytical tools, such as NMR
N
HO COOH spectroscopy, that adsorption of betalains in c-alumina could sta-
bilize the pigment for more than twenty months through acid–
base interaction. In another study, ceramic particles (tetraethyl
orthosilicate, TEOS) have been proposed for the stabilization of
betalains against UV-light, and temperature to increase its applica-
H
tion (Estévez, Méndez, Vargas, García, & Rodríguez, n.d.).
HOOC N COOH TEOS was reported to form new carbonyl-oxygen-silicon bonds
H under acidic conditions with the carbonyl groups of the betalain
Fig. 2. Factors affecting betalain stability (A) and sites prone to deglucosylation molecule (Molina, Coulson, Cortez-Valadez, García-Hernández, &
(blue bracket), decarboxylation (green), dehydrogenation (red) and nucleophilic Estevez, 2014). The new complex was relatively more stable in
attack (yellow bracket) in betacyanins (B). Updated from Herbach, Stintzing, et al. UV, pH and temperature, apparently by quenching UV-Vis photons,
(2006) and Manchali et al. (2013). PPO – polyphenol oxidase, POD – peroxidase. (For delaying structural changes of betalains in different pH, and heat
interpretation of the references to color in this figure legend, the reader is referred
to the web version of this article.)
dissipation to mask the effect of temperature on betalains. The
new complex was characterized by using FTIR spectroscopy, which
revealed the appearance of a band at 530 cm 1 possibly indicating
a C-O-Si group vibration signal in agreement with a hypothetical
structure of the new complex generated using a software program
and authenticated by simulating IR spectra. As a result of the new
structure formation, there was either shift or disappearance of
some of the signals corresponding to carboxylic acid group in the
unmodified pigment. In the case of Rivina humilis berry extract, a
possible ascorbic acid-Se-betalain complex has been reported
Fig. 3. Drug–cyclodextrin binding in equilibrium to form a 1:1 inclusion complex. (see Section 2.2 for details; Khan & Giridhar, 2014).
Adapted with modification from Stella and He (2008).
Phenolic acids, such as gallic acid (Khan & Giridhar, 2014),
chlorogenic acid, and flavanols like catechin, quercetin, and buty-
2.1. Complex formation lated hydroxyanisole have earlier been found to have either no
effect, or to reduce stability of betanin (Attoe & von Elbe, 1985).
A bathochromic shift in color absorption has been observed, In contrast, stabilization of betalains in the presence of flavans
indicating complex formation of betalains (especially betanin) has been proposed in a patent (Tsai & Hsiao, 2010). The inventors
with metal ions, such as Cu2+ (Butera et al., 2002; Kuusi, Pyysalo, claimed that 0.005 M catechin was sufficient to stabilize betalains
& Pippuri, 1977), Cu+, Hg2+ (Kuusi et al., 1977), Fe2+, Ni2+, Co2+ in solution, and that after heat treatment during regeneration of
(Spórna-Kucab, Wybraniec, Mitka, Kowalski, & Michalowski, the pigments a relatively stable Schiff base complex was formed
2011), and has been confirmed by the addition of metal-chelator between the betalains and catechin. However, this study had some
EDTA, which could reverse the spectral changes. It appears that drawbacks as the concentration of pigment was not clear, and con-
such complexes reduce the color stability of betalains as in the case sequently the quantity of the free betalains and catechin–betalain
of Fe2+, Cu2+ (Khan & Giridhar, 2014; Pasch & von Elbe, 1979; complex remained unclear. This information is important, particu-
Spórna-Kucab et al., 2011), and Ni2+, Co2+ (Spórna-Kucab et al., larly because the relative abundance of ions in the mass spec-
2011). On the other hand, the b-cyclodextrin (b-CD)-betanin com- troscopy analysis was very low. Also, only one concentration of
plex has been reported to stabilize color (Hamburg & Hamburg, the stabilizer was used. Complex formation is poorly supported
1991). This was attributed to the adsorption of free water by by the analytical data. On the other hand, the observations may
b-CD. In the absence of light and O2, CDs have been reported to be due to a copigmentation phenomenon, which does not neces-
improve betalain stability (Drunkler et al., 2006). Recently, it was sarily involve complex formation.
M.I. Khan / Food Chemistry 197 (2016) 1280–1285 1283

2.2. Copigmentation juice as the natural colorant in the presence of citric acid and
sodium benzoate as preservatives, the color retention was 68%
Willstatter and Zollinger (1916) discovered the copigmentation after 6 months of storage at 5 °C (Khan et al., 2015). This was
phenomenon in grape pigment, oenin (later named as malvidin comparable to that of betalain stability in R. humilis berry juice dur-
3-glucoside), when its hue changed to a bluer red, following the ing cold storage, thereby suggesting the suitability of betalains as a
addition of tannin or gallic acid. Later, Maud and Robert (1931) colorant in a complex food matrix. Most of these studies indicated
reported the same pigment to produce diverse color hues in differ- better stability of betalains in a juice matrix compared to purified
ent plant parts. Copigmentation involves direct (complex forma- pigments either with or without externally added stabilizers. More
tion) or weak interactions between anthocyanins and other studies are needed on copigments of betalains in the near future to
naturally occurring compounds, causing a wide range of colors to evaluate whether stabilization of betalains affects the bioavailabil-
be expressed. Copigments could be metals, phenols, alkaloids, ity of the pigments.
amino acids, organic acids, nucleotides, polysaccharides, metals,
and anthocyanins themselves (Mazza & Brouillard, 1990). Through 2.3. Encapsulation
copigmentation, color intensity and stability of anthocyanins are
enhanced naturally. The increase in color intensity of anthocyanins Encapsulation has been studied in recent times as a method to
is attributed to a bathochromic shift in its absorption spectrum and stabilize, improve bioavailability and ease administration of
concomitant hyperchromaticity (Mazzaracchio, Pifferi, Kindt, polyphenols (Fang & Bhandari, 2010; Krishnaiah, Nithyanandam,
Munyaneza, & Barbiroli, 2004). In the case of betalains, stabilizers, & Sarbatly, 2014). In the food industry, encapsulation employing
such as ascorbic acid, isoascorbic acid, and citric acid, have been spray-drying technology is economical, flexible, could be operated
known to remove O2 from the solution and reduce the polarity at continuously, and yields good quality capsules. The process is typi-
the N 1 position, which is susceptible to nucleophilic attack by cally used for producing encapsulated phytochemicals which are
water (Herbach, Stintzing, et al., 2006; Kearsley & Katsaboxakis, dry, stable and used as food colorants, additives, and flavors. The
1980). During structure elucidation of betacyanins in Gomphrena process involves mixing of the core material with a wall/coating
globosa (Heuer, Wray, Metzger, & Strack, 1992), it was observed that material. The homogenized mixture of core material and wall mate-
acylation in gomphrenin I resulted in a bathochromic shift of rial is fed into a spray dryer. Through a nozzle, atomized droplets are
absorption (kmax) from 543 nm to 550 nm for gomphrenin II and sparged, the water in the droplets is evaporated by circulating hot
III. For betanin type betacyanins, esterification with aliphatic acids air, and spherical capsules of mean size range 10–100 lm are
stabilizes them (Herbach, Stintzing, et al., 2006), whereas if aro- obtained (Fang & Bhandari, 2010). With respect to encapsulation
matic acids are involved in the esterification with betacyanins, of betalains, it was suggested that use of polysaccharides, such as
the position of esterification determines the stability as in bougain- pectin, or guar gum as wall materials reduced hygroscopicity,
villeins (Heuer et al., 1994; Schliemann & Strack, 1998). Apart from thereby increasing stability (Lejeune, Pouget, & Pourrat, 1983). Fur-
this, glucosylation at C-6 of betanidin seems to enhance the chro- ther exploration in this area was done in the year 2000 wherein
matic strength of the pigment, as in the case of gomphrenins, owing Amaranthus betacyanins were encapsulated (Cai & Corke, 2000)
to a more rigid conformation. However, further glucosylation may using maltodextrin (MDE, 10–25 dextrose equivalent), and
not improve the stability (Huang and Von Elbe, 1986). Recently, it native/modified starch as the coating agent in a feed mixture of
was observed that the presence of Se and ascorbic acid enhances 20% total solids. They observed that higher inlet temperature
stability and color intensity (hyperchromaticity) owing to a batho- (>180 °C) caused increased drying loss (>4%) of pigment and
chromic shift of the betanin absorption spectrum from 535 nm to reduced storage stability. The authors assumed a superior storage
544 nm in R. humilis fruit juice (Khan & Giridhar, 2014). It is plausi- stability of encapsulated pigments with MDE of mixed dextrose
ble that the observed changes may be attributed to formation of an equivalent (DE) based on the observation that there was a loss of
ascorbic acid (copigment)–Se–betanin coordinate complex similar 10–16% color, which was relatively less, over a four-month storage
to that of the ascorbic acid–metal–anthocyanin complex (Sarma, period. It was confirmed by encapsulation with MDE (10 DE) of
Sreelakshmi, & Sharma, 1997). The natural matrix of plant extracts Opuntia lasiacantha Pfeiffer (red prickly pear) betanin extract, result-
contain various co-pigments that can help in stabilization and ing in a loss of only 14% over a storage period of 6 months in dark at
regeneration. In the case of cactus fruit juice, autooxidation of beta- 25 °C (Díaz, Santos, Kerstupp, Villagómez, & Scheivar, 2006). In the
lains occurred less in the matrix (Merin, Gagel, Popel, Bernstein, & case of red beet betalains, encapsulation protected the pigments
Rosenthal, 1987), repeated thermal treatment did not result in sig- independently of MDE concentration, thereby limiting the degrada-
nificant decolorisation or non-enzymic browning (Moßhammer, tion to only 10% during six months of storage at 27 °C (Azeredo,
Stintzing, & Carle, 2005), and also there was some sort of synergistic Santos, Souza, Mendes, & Andrade, 2007). These observations were
effect on the stability of betalains observed in the presence of the further supported by similar results obtained by different research-
juice matrix and additives compared to the matrix-free sample ers (Obón, Castellar, Alacid, & Fernández-López, 2009; Saénz, Tapia,
(Herbach, Rohe, Stintzing, & Carle, 2006; Moßhammer, Rohe, Chávez, & Robert, 2009). Saenz et al. (2009) reported that indicaxan-
Stintzing, & Carle, 2007; Skopinska, Szot, & Wybraniec, 2015). thin in encapsulated extract was more stable than betacyanin at
Similar results were obtained in the case of R. humilis berry juice 60 °C. This was corroborated by Gandía-Herrero, Jiménez-Atiénzar,
betacyanins and partially purified betacyanins (Khan & Giridhar, Cabanes, García-Carmona, and Escribano (2010) who encapsulated
2014). The authors further reported that in the presence of ascorbic purified indicaxanthin successfully with MDE (20%, w/v) to stabilize
acid and selenium, the stability of betacyanins was much more the pigment without compromising the color intensity. They
enhanced at 5 °C and 90 °C. The spectral profile of partially purified observed that there was no significant loss of encapsulated pigment
betacyanins acquired before and after thermal treatment at 90 °C, during storage in the dark at 4 °C and 20 °C for more than six
or storage at 25 °C for about 3 weeks, revealed a bathochromic shift months. From the above reports it appears that stability of the
of 9 nm in betanin’s absorption, indicating the possibility of com- encapsulated pigment depends upon the type of pigment viz. beta-
plex formation (Khan & Giridhar, 2014). This showed that in addi- cyanins or betaxanthins. Also, these reports point to the fact that
tion to stabilization, copigments/stabilizers could bring about encapsulation has great promise for the hygroscopic and poorly
chemical transformation of the pigment through simple interven- stable betalains to widen its commercial applications through stabi-
tions, such as thermal treatment. In a complex food matrix (of fruit lization. In this regard, Pietrzkowski and Thresher (2010) patented a
spread prepared from banana) formulated using R. humilis berry formulation of MDE (20%) and red beet dried extract with 15% (w/w)
1284 M.I. Khan / Food Chemistry 197 (2016) 1280–1285

betalains in a free-flowing product containing 5% (w/w) betalains, 3. Conclusions


which was stable and highly soluble in water. Apart from MDE,
gum Arabic has been also used as an encapsulating agent (Pitalua, In 2009, the global demand for food color was 45,000–50,000
Jimenez, Vernon-Carter, & Beristain, 2010). There is a possibility of tons (Manchali et al., 2013) and it may be assumed that about
inclusion of certain additives that can confer better functionality 10% of the demand was fulfilled by betalains obtained from red
to encapsulated betalain pigments as reported by Chik, Abdullah, beet (Hilpert & Dreiding, 2007). Recent developments in the meth-
Abdullah, and Mustapha (2011). There are sources of betalains, such ods for stabilization and production of free-flowing betalain pow-
as Basella rubra and Opuntia ficus-indica fruits, that contain natural der will help it to claim a bigger share in the natural color
gummy substances, which if extracted and/or reconstituted with market for applications in the food, pharmaceuticals and cosmetic
pigments, may act as an intrinsic agent for stability as well as industries. However, more studies on mixed matrix based betalain
value-addition by imparting bioactivities, such as detoxification, formulations and its freeze-drying as a means of drying are
digestion (USDA SR23, 2010) and improvement in hematological required as spray-dried betalain powder elicits poor consumer
parameters (Bamidele et al., 2010), which need further response (Kaimainen et al., 2015). From a bioavailability and meta-
investigation. The cactus cladode mucilage mixed with MDE (DE bolism point of view, preservatives like oxalic acid may result in
20) could also be an encapsulating agent (Otálora, Carriazo, reduced consumer acceptability owing to beeturia, a physiological
Iturriaga, Nazareno, & Osorio, 2015) with functional values of the aberration in 14% of the population to process betalains (Eastwood
mucilage (El-Mostafa, El Kharrassi, Andreoletti, Vamecq, & El & Nyhlin, 1995; Mitchell, 2001). On the other hand, complexation
Kebbaj, 2014). Gelatin-MDE (Castro-Munoz, Barragan-Huerta, & of betalains with metals, cyclodextrins, etc may improve stability
Yanez-Fernandez, 2014) and CapsulÒ (Vergara, Saavedra, Sáenz, and, hence, their effects on betalain bioavailability need to be
García, & Robert, 2014) have also been tested for improving investigated.
encapsulating efficiency, pigment retention, storage stability and
antioxidant activity of the microparticles. Whatever the strategy Acknowledgements
used to retain maximum pigment during spray-drying, the
processed betalain powder should be acceptable to consumers. M.I. Khan is grateful to CSIR, New Delhi for awarding him a
However, a recent report points to poor consumer response, though senior research fellowship. This review was written as a part of
storage stability at temperatures up to 20 °C was impressive Mr. Khan’s doctoral thesis.
(Kaimainen, Laaksonen, Järvenpää, Sandell, & Huopalahti, 2015).
Of all the drying processes, spray-drying takes the shortest dry-
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