Applications

Betanin preparations are water soluble with high tinctorial strength. They are relatively unchanged in color from pH 3 to 7 but are violet at pH values below 3 and bluer at pH values above 7. The absorption spectra of betanin at three pH values are shown in Figure 6 (4). A shift in dominant wavelength toward the left would indicate a yellower color and to the right a bluer color. The spectrum at pH 9 does show a small shift in color toward the bluish-red. Both the red and yellow pigments are thermolabile with and without the presence of oxygen and are also degraded by light. Metal cations such as iron, copper, tin, and aluminum accelerate the degradation. With these limitations, beetroot preparations may be used ideally to color products with short shelf life, which are packaged to reduce exposure to light, oxygen, and high humidity; do not receive

Figure 6. Spectra of aqueous betanin solutions at pH 2,5, and 9.

Figure 6. Spectra of aqueous betanin solutions at pH 2,5, and 9.

extended or high heat treatment; and are marketed in the dry state (3). Beet extracts have been suggested for dairy products such as ice cream and yogurt, salad dressings, frostings, cake mixes, gelatin desserts, meat substitutes, poultry meat sausages, gravy mixes, soft drinks, powdered drink mixes, marshmallow candies, hard candies, and fruit chews. Betanin colorants can also be blended with other colorants to provide desired color matches. Extracts from beets are the only betalain colorants permitted in the United States today.

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