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Crit Rev Food Sci Nutr. 2017 Oct 13;57(15):3243-3259. doi: 10.1080/10408398.2015.1109498.

Natural colorants: Pigment stability and extraction yield enhancement via utilization of appropriate pretreatment and extraction methods.

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a Advanced Food Processing Research Laboratory, Department of Food Engineering, Faculty of Engineering , King Mongkut's University of Technology Thonburi , Tungkru , Bangkok , Thailand.


Natural colorants from plant-based materials have gained increasing popularity due to health consciousness of consumers. Among the many steps involved in the production of natural colorants, pigment extraction is one of the most important. Soxhlet extraction, maceration, and hydrodistillation are conventional methods that have been widely used in industry and laboratory for such a purpose. Recently, various non-conventional methods, such as supercritical fluid extraction, pressurized liquid extraction, microwave-assisted extraction, ultrasound-assisted extraction, pulsed-electric field extraction, and enzyme-assisted extraction have emerged as alternatives to conventional methods due to the advantages of the former in terms of smaller solvent consumption, shorter extraction time, and more environment-friendliness. Prior to the extraction step, pretreatment of plant materials to enhance the stability of natural pigments is another important step that must be carefully taken care of. In this paper, a comprehensive review of appropriate pretreatment and extraction methods for chlorophylls, carotenoids, betalains, and anthocyanins, which are major classes of plant pigments, is provided by using pigment stability and extraction yield as assessment criteria.


Anthocyanin; betalains; carotenoids; chlorophylls; natural products; non-conventional extraction

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