Monday, April 19, 2021
Home Science New kind of blue found in cabbage could replace synthetic food dye

New kind of blue found in cabbage could replace synthetic food dye

blue ice cream

Ice cream made utilizing the brand new blue pigment

Pamela Denish, University of California, Davis

An extended seek for a pure different to synthetic blue food colouring might have come to an finish, with scientists discovering a blue pigment in cabbage that may do the job.

Blue pigments are not often found in pure assets like vegetation and rocks, that means that the majority blue merchandise – together with sweets, drinks, drug tablets, cosmetics and clothes – must be made utilizing synthetic blue dyes.


These synthetic dyes are usually produced from petrochemicals, resulting in issues about their environmental influence and security as food components.

Scientists have spent a long time trying to find pure options. Now, Pamela Denish on the University of California, Davis, and her colleagues have found a pigment in crimson cabbage much like the unreal food colouring Brilliant Blue FCF or E133.

This pure blue pigment – a sort of anthocyanin molecule – is barely current in small quantities in crimson cabbage.

However, the researchers found they could make bigger portions by treating the dominant red-coloured anthocyanins current in crimson cabbage with a specifically designed enzyme that turned them blue.

The crew used the brand new blue pigment to make blue ice cream, doughnut icing and sugar-coated lentils. These merchandise maintained their blue color whereas being saved for 30 days in ambient circumstances.

Safety testing have to be carried out earlier than the pure blue dye can be utilized in meals, however Kumi Yoshida at Nagoya University in Japan, one of the examine authors, says it’s unlikely to have adversarial well being results. “Red cabbage anthocyanins have a long, long history in our diets,” she says.

The cause why the color blue is so unusual in nature is as a result of advanced molecular buildings are required to soak up the appropriate wavelengths of mild to offer a blue look, says Rebecca Robbins on the Mars Wrigley Global Innovation Center in the US, who was additionally concerned in the examine. “It takes quite a [few] specific molecular features,” she says.

Journal reference: Science Advances, DOI: 10.1126/sciadv.abe7871

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