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J Agric Food Chem. 2014 Jul 23;62(29):6879-84. doi: 10.1021/jf501950s. Epub 2014 Jul 2.

Anthocyanins. Plant pigments and beyond.

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Grupo de Investigacion en Polifenoles, Facultad de Farmacia, Universidad de Salamanca, Campus Miguel de Unamuno, 37007 Salamanca, Spain.


Anthocyanins are plant pigments widespread in nature. They play relevant roles in plant propagation and ecophysiology and plant defense mechanisms and are responsible for the color of fruits and vegetables. A large number of novel anthocyanin structures have been identified, including new families such as pyranoanthocyanins or anthocyanin oligomers; their biosynthesis pathways have been elucidated, and new plants with "a la carte" colors have been created by genetic engineering. Furthermore, evidence about their benefits in human health has accumulated, and processes of anthocyanin absorption and biotransformation in the human organism have started to be ascertained. These advances in anthocyanin research were revised in the Seventh International Workshop on Anthocyanins that took place in Porto (Portugal) on September 9-11, 2013. Some selected papers are collected in this special issue, where aspects such as anthocyanin accumulation in plants, relationship with color expression, stability in plants and food, and bioavailability or biological activity are revised.

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