Colorant Properties and Stability of Amaranthus Betacyanin Pigments

Yizhong Cai, Mei Sun, Harold Corke*

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

114 Scopus citations


Color, spectral characteristics, and stability of betacyanin pigments of 21 genotypes from 7 Amaranthus species were evaluated. Wide variation in color characteristics and significant differences in pigment stability were found as much within as between Amaranthus species. Amaranthus betacyanins, like red beet pigments, were susceptible to temperature and also affected by pH, light, air, and water activity, with better pigment stability at lower temperatures (≤14 °C) in the dark and in the absence of air. Storage stability at 25 °C of dried Amaranthus pigments (t1/2 = 23.3 months) was longer than that of aqueous pigment extracts (t1/2 = 1.04 months), indicating that the dried pigments were stable enough to be used as commercial colorants. The betacyanins from some better pigment genotypes (Cr015, Sheng07, Tr010, Cr072, Cr017, etc.) exhibited brighter red-violet color characteristics and were similar in stability to red radish anthocyanins under selected conditions. These characteristics of Amaranthus pigments give them considerable potential for development for use in the food industry, particularly for low-temperature uses.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)4491-4495
Number of pages5
JournalJournal of Agricultural and Food Chemistry
Issue number11
StatePublished - Nov 1998
Externally publishedYes


  • Amaranthus
  • Betacyanins
  • Color stability
  • Food pigments
  • Spectral characteristics


Dive into the research topics of 'Colorant Properties and Stability of Amaranthus Betacyanin Pigments'. Together they form a unique fingerprint.

Cite this