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Figure 2. Structures of five flavonoid pigments in G. fosbergii.

Figure 2. Structures of five flavonoid pigments in G. fosbergii.

amino groups allow a range of colorants to be produced. Several patents involve culturing extracts of gardenia with microorganisms such as Bacillus subtilis, Aspergillus ja-ponicus, or a species of Rhizopus. Several patents involve hydrolysis of the iridoid glycoside geniposide by the action of /?-glucosidase to produce genipin. The genipin can be reacted with taurine to produce a blue colorant. Other amino acids such as glycine, alanine, leucine, phenylalanine, and tyrosine can be reacted to produce brilliant blue colorants. They are claimed to be stable for two weeks at 40°C in 40% ethanol. Four greens, two blues, and one red have been commercialized in Japan.

Colorant preparations from gardenia have been suggested for use with candies, sweets, colored ices, noodles, imitation crab, fish eggs, glazed chestnuts, beans, dried fish substitutes, liqueurs, baked goods, and so on. In view of the wide range of colors and apparent stability, colorants from gardenia appear to have good potential. They are not approved for use in the United States.

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