Food chemistry

Colour and stability assessment of blue ferric anthocyanin chelates in liquid pectin-stabilised model systems.

PMID 23411339


The formation of blue coloured ferric anthocyanin chelates and their colour stability during storage and thermal treatment were monitored in a pH range relevant to food (3.6-5.0). Liquid model systems were composed of different types of Citrus pectins, juices (J) and the respective phenolic extracts (E) from elderberry (EB), black currant (BC), red cabbage (RC) and purple carrot (PC) in the presence of ferric ions. For EB, BC and PC, pure blue colours devoid of a violet tint were exclusively observed for the phenolic extracts and at pH values ≥ 4.5 in model systems containing high methoxylated and amidated pectins, respectively. Colour and its stability strongly depended on the amount of ferric ions and the plant source; however, colour decay could generally be described as a pseudo-first-order kinetics. Despite optimal colour hues for RC-E and RC-J, storage and heat stabilities were poor. Highest colour intensities and best stabilities were observed for model systems containing PC-E at a molar anthocyanin:ferric ion ratio of 1:2. Ascorbic and lactic acids interfered with ferric ions, thus significantly affecting blue colour evolution and stability. Colour loss strongly depended on heat exposure with activation energies ranging between 60.5 and 78.4 kJ/mol. The comprehensive evaluation of the interrelationship of pigment source, pH conditions and pectin type on chelate formation and stability demonstrated that ferric anthocyanin chelates are promising natural blue food colourants.