The Effect of Ascorbic Acid Supplementation on Betacyanin Stability in Purple Pitaya (Hylocereus polyrhizus) Juice

The Effect of Ascorbic Acid Supplementation on Betacyanin Stability in Purple Pitaya (Hylocereus polyrhizus) Juice
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Anna Skopińska, Dominika Szot, Karolina Starzak, Yosef Mizrahib, Sławomir Wybraniec
23 February 2016
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Abstract: Current studies on betalains are focused on searching of new plant sources of these pigments. In this light, purple pitaya (Hylocereus polyrhizus) is a valuable batalain-containing fruit. Betalains are known to be sensitive at elevated temperatures conditions. Nevertheless, addition of specific food stabilizers (EDTA, ascorbic acid, citric acid) as well as natural matrix compounds may exert stabilizing effect on maintenance of pigments. Therefore, in presented study, the stability of betalains in Hylocereus polyrhizus juices with protective addition of ascorbic acid at 85 ̊C was examined. Spectrophotometric analyses enable monitoring of reaction during heating of solutions. The hypsochromic shift of λmax to 460 nm is observed in more acidic media without ascorbic acid, suggesting the generation of new reaction products. These absorption bands in solutions with ascorbic acid are not detected, indicating on retaining of the basic structure of betalain chromophore. Generally, pigment retention is diminishing with prolonged heating and depends on pH-values of tested solutions. The addition of ascorbic acid significantly affects the betalain stability. After 60 min of heating, more than 60% of the initial pigment is retained at pH 3-4 in samples of purple pitaya with ascorbic acid. In summary, betacyanins in purple pitaya juice are shown to exhibit proper heat stability, when are stabilized with ascorbic acid. However, a protective effect of natural juice matrix and ascorbic acid is more significant at acidic pH.

Keywords: betalains, betacyanins, Hylocereus polyrhizus, thermal treatment of natural pigments, ascorbic acid

Area: Chemistry and Pharmacy


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