Production Of Pigments

Pigments are the normal constituents of the cells or tissues that give color. Pigments play a vital role in the food industry, to make food decorative and appealing. Natural pigments contain provitamin A, and have anticancer activity, and other desirable properties such as stability to heat, light, and pH. There are pigments which are chemo-synthetic counterparts of regular food components, that are referred as natural-identical.

Microbial production of pigments has usually been carried out in SmF, though SSF processes have also been applied. Candida flareri, C. guilliermundii, Debaromyces subglobosus, Hansenula polymorpha, Saccharomyces, Torulopsis xylinus, Ashbya gossypi and Eremothecium ashbyii have commonly been used for the production of riboflavin, a yellow pigmented B vitamin. Monascus pigments have good properties as food colorants possessing reasonable light and chemical stability, tinctorial strength, and water solubility when complexed with appropriate agents.

Monascus pigments may be used as substitutes for traditional food additives, such as nitrites for the preservation of meats (139), and as a potential replacement for synthetic food dyes (181). They have also been used industrially for several years; e.g., as yellow hydrosol-uble pigments for candies (140), or red pigments in red rice wine. Monoscus anka and M. pupureus are cultivated in SSF for red pigment production (Table 4.3). Steamed rice is used as the substrate, although oats, wheat, and barley have also been used. The culturing period is approximately three weeks. Certain sugars, amino acids, and metals have been found important for the production, and yields are typically 10-fold higher in both SSF and SmF. Pigment formation could be inhibited by the presence of glucose in the fermentation medium, but could be increased by limited aeration in SmF. It was also observed that an increase in the partial pressure of CO2 increases the pigment production (141). For isolating the pigment from fermented matter, simple extract with solvents such as ethanol is effective (1,137,141).

Table 4.3

SSF processes for other food applications

Table 4.3

SSF processes for other food applications

Products

Microorganisms

Ref.

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