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Special Issue "Anthocyanins: Extraction, Purification and Applications"

A special issue of Molecules (ISSN 1420-3049). This special issue belongs to the section "Colorants".

Deadline for manuscript submissions: closed (15 April 2021).

Special Issue Editor

Dr. Ana Fernandes
E-Mail Website
Guest Editor
REQUIMTE/LAQV, Faculdade de Ciências da Universidade do Porto, Rua do Campo 6 Alegre, 689, 4169-007 Porto, Portugal
Interests: anthocyanins; polysaccharides; colour modulation; physicochemical properties; functional foods development

Special Issue Information

Dear Colleagues,

Anthocyanins are key molecules in several research topics, from food quality and nutrition, to health, cosmetic, textile, packaging, or sensors research fields. The great interest that has been given to these natural compounds is mainly generated by their color diversity, spanning practically the whole visible spectrum and by the wide range of biological activities described either for individual or mixture of anthocyanins. Anthocyanins’ chemistry and stability is influenced by two main routes, supramolecular and metamorphose chemistry. All these have crucial implications on anthocyanins functions, from their color and sensorial features, to their physicochemical state, antioxidant properties, transport mechanisms in biological systems, bioavailability, metabolism, and implication for disease alleviation pathways. 

This Special Issue is dedicated to the most recent advances on the extraction, purification, and innovative applications of plant anthocyanins, specially focused on the chemical and biological features of these molecules. Furthermore, articles addressing the interactions that occur within plant-based food products, namely with polysaccharides, proteins, and fibers (physically or covalently linked), relating to anthocyanins functions in food and health benefits, are also in the scope of this Molecules Special Issue.

Dr. Ana Fernandes
Guest Editor

Manuscript Submission Information

Manuscripts should be submitted online at www.mdpi.com by registering and logging in to this website. Once you are registered, click here to go to the submission form. Manuscripts can be submitted until the deadline. All papers will be peer-reviewed. Accepted papers will be published continuously in the journal (as soon as accepted) and will be listed together on the special issue website. Research articles, review articles as well as short communications are invited. For planned papers, a title and short abstract (about 100 words) can be sent to the Editorial Office for announcement on this website.

Submitted manuscripts should not have been published previously, nor be under consideration for publication elsewhere (except conference proceedings papers). All manuscripts are thoroughly refereed through a single-blind peer-review process. A guide for authors and other relevant information for submission of manuscripts is available on the Instructions for Authors page. Molecules is an international peer-reviewed open access semimonthly journal published by MDPI.

Please visit the Instructions for Authors page before submitting a manuscript. The Article Processing Charge (APC) for publication in this open access journal is 2000 CHF (Swiss Francs). Submitted papers should be well formatted and use good English. Authors may use MDPI's English editing service prior to publication or during author revisions.

Keywords

  • anthocyanins
  • food quality
  • nutrition
  • biological activities
  • antioxidant properties
  • extraction
  • plant food products

Published Papers (7 papers)

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Research

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Open AccessArticle
Optimization of an Ultrasound-Assisted Extraction Method for the Analysis of Major Anthocyanin Content in Erica australis Flowers
Molecules 2021, 26(10), 2884; https://doi.org/10.3390/molecules26102884 - 13 May 2021
Viewed by 237
Abstract
Erica australis plants have been used in infusions and folk medicine for years for its diuretic and antiseptic properties and even for the treatment of infections. In addition, a recently published thorough study on this species has demonstrated its antioxidant, antibiotic, anti-inflammatory, anticarcinogenic [...] Read more.
Erica australis plants have been used in infusions and folk medicine for years for its diuretic and antiseptic properties and even for the treatment of infections. In addition, a recently published thorough study on this species has demonstrated its antioxidant, antibiotic, anti-inflammatory, anticarcinogenic and even antitumoral activities. These properties have been associated with the high content of anthocyanins in E. australis leaves and flowers. The aim of the present research is to optimize an ultrasound-assisted extraction methodology for the recovery of the anthocyanins present in E. australis flowers. For that purpose, a Box Behnken design with response surface methodology was employed, and the influence of four variables at different values was determined: namely, the composition of the extraction solvents (0–50% MeOH in water), the pH level of those solvents (3–7), the extraction temperature (10–70 °C), and the sample:solvent ratio (0.5 g:10 mL–0.5 g:20 mL). UHPLC-UV-vis has been employed to quantify the two major anthocyanins detected in the samples. The extraction optimum conditions for 0.5 g samples were: 20 mL of solvent (50% MeOH:H2O) at 5 pH, with a 15 min extraction time at 70 °C. A precision study was performed and the intra-day and inter-day relative standard deviations (RSDs) obtained were 3.31% and 3.52%, respectively. The developed methodology has been successfully applied to other Erica species to validate the suitability of the method for anthocyanin extraction. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Anthocyanins: Extraction, Purification and Applications)
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Open AccessArticle
Application of Crude Pomace Powder of Chokeberry, Bilberry, and Elderberry as a Coloring Foodstuff
Molecules 2021, 26(9), 2689; https://doi.org/10.3390/molecules26092689 - 04 May 2021
Viewed by 194
Abstract
Berry pomace, rich in polyphenols, especially anthocyanins, accumulates during the production of red juices. Pomace from chokeberry (Aronia melanocarpa Michx.), bilberry (Vaccinium myrtillus L.), and elderberry (Sambucus nigra L.) represent good sources of coloring foodstuffs. Pomace powders (PP) were prepared [...] Read more.
Berry pomace, rich in polyphenols, especially anthocyanins, accumulates during the production of red juices. Pomace from chokeberry (Aronia melanocarpa Michx.), bilberry (Vaccinium myrtillus L.), and elderberry (Sambucus nigra L.) represent good sources of coloring foodstuffs. Pomace powders (PP) were prepared by milling the seedless fractions of the three dried berry pomaces (50 °C, 8 h). Techno-functional properties of the powders such as particle size distribution, bulk density, sedimentation velocity, and swelling capacity were determined to evaluate the powders for possible food applications. Total anthocyanin content was quantified by UHPLC-DAD before and during a storage experiment to monitor the degradation of anthocyanins in the PP and in a yogurt model application. The high content of phenolic compounds and the still intact cell structure ensured high stability of anthocyanins over 28 days of storage. In the model application, color saturation was stable over the whole storage time of 14 days. Regarding the techno-functional properties, only a few differences between the three PP were observed. The particle size of elderberry PP was larger, resulting in lowest bulk density (0.45 g/mL), high cold-water solubility (16.42%), and a swelling capacity of 10.16 mL/g dw. Sedimentation velocity of the three PP was fast (0.02 mL/min) due to cluster formation of the particles caused by electrostatic and hydrophobic properties. Compared to other high-intensity coloring foodstuffs, the use of PP, showing acceptable color stability with potential health-promoting effects, represents a wide applicability in different food applications and especially in products with a longer shelf-life. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Anthocyanins: Extraction, Purification and Applications)
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Open AccessArticle
Functional Characterization of an Anthocyanin Dimalonyltransferase in Maize
Molecules 2021, 26(7), 2020; https://doi.org/10.3390/molecules26072020 - 01 Apr 2021
Viewed by 356
Abstract
Anthocyanins are pigments with appealing hues that are currently being used as sources of natural colorants. The interaction of acylation on the stability of anthocyanin molecules has long been known. Maize is an abundant source of malonylglucoside and dimalonylglucoside anthocyanins. The enzyme Aat1 [...] Read more.
Anthocyanins are pigments with appealing hues that are currently being used as sources of natural colorants. The interaction of acylation on the stability of anthocyanin molecules has long been known. Maize is an abundant source of malonylglucoside and dimalonylglucoside anthocyanins. The enzyme Aat1 is an anthocyanin acyltransferase known to synthesize the majority of acylated anthocyanins in maize. In this paper, we characterize the substrate specificity and reaction kinetics of Aat1. It was found that Aat1 has anthocyanin 3-O-glucoside dimalonyltransferase activity and is only the second enzyme of this type characterized to this date. Our results indicate that Aat1 can utilize malonyl-CoA; succinyl-CoA and every anthocyanin 3-O-glucoside tested. Results of this study provide insight into the structure–function relations of dimalonyltransferases and give a unique insight into the activity of monocot anthocyanin acyltransferases. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Anthocyanins: Extraction, Purification and Applications)
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Open AccessArticle
Extracts of Digested Berries Increase the Survival of Saccharomyces cerevisiae during H2O2 Induced Oxidative Stress
Molecules 2021, 26(4), 1057; https://doi.org/10.3390/molecules26041057 - 18 Feb 2021
Viewed by 411
Abstract
Many studies suggest anthocyanins may prevent the development of several diseases. However, anthocyanin bioactivity against cellular stress is not fully understood. This study aimed to evaluate the protective effect of berry anthocyanins on stressed cells using Saccharomyces cerevisiae. The impact of in [...] Read more.
Many studies suggest anthocyanins may prevent the development of several diseases. However, anthocyanin bioactivity against cellular stress is not fully understood. This study aimed to evaluate the protective effect of berry anthocyanins on stressed cells using Saccharomyces cerevisiae. The impact of in vitro gastrointestinal digestion on anthocyanin profiles was also assessed. Bilberry and blackcurrant had higher anthocyanin levels than raspberry and strawberry, but digestion reduced the detected anthocyanins by approximately 90%. Yeast cells with and without digested or nondigested anthocyanin extracts were exposed to H2O2 and examined for survival. In the presence of anthocyanins, particularly from digested strawberry, a significant increase in cell survival was observed, suggesting that the type and levels of anthocyanins are important factors, but they also need to undergo gastrointestinal (GI) structural modifications to induce cell defence. Results also showed that cells need to be exposed to anthocyanins before the stress was applied, suggesting induction of a cellular defence system by anthocyanins or their derivatives rather than by a direct antioxidative effect on H2O2. Overall, data showed that exposure of severely stressed yeast cells to digested berry extracts improved cell survival. The findings also showed the importance of considering gastrointestinal digestion when evaluating anthocyanins’ biological activity. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Anthocyanins: Extraction, Purification and Applications)
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Open AccessArticle
Ultrasound-Assisted Deep Eutectic Solvent Extraction of Anthocyanins from Blueberry Wine Residues: Optimization, Identification, and HepG2 Antitumor Activity
Molecules 2020, 25(22), 5456; https://doi.org/10.3390/molecules25225456 - 20 Nov 2020
Viewed by 604
Abstract
Blueberry wine residues produced during the wine-brewing process contain abundant anthocyanins and other bioactive compounds. To extract anthocyanins from blueberry wine residues more efficiently, a novel procedure of ultrasound-assisted deep eutectic solvent extraction (UADESE) was proposed in this work. The extraction process was [...] Read more.
Blueberry wine residues produced during the wine-brewing process contain abundant anthocyanins and other bioactive compounds. To extract anthocyanins from blueberry wine residues more efficiently, a novel procedure of ultrasound-assisted deep eutectic solvent extraction (UADESE) was proposed in this work. The extraction process was optimized by response surface methodology coupled with genetic algorithm. The optimum extraction parameters to achieve the highest yield of anthocyanins (9.32 ± 0.08 mg/g) from blueberry wine residues by UADESE were obtained at water content of 29%, ultrasonic power of 380 W, extraction temperature of 55 °C, and extraction time of 40 min. The AB-8 macroporous resin combined with Sephadex LH-20 techniques was used to purify the crude extract (CE) obtained under optimum extraction conditions and analyze the anthocyanins composition by HPLC-ESI-MS/MS. The cyanidin-3-rutinoside with purity of 92.81% was obtained. The HepG2 antitumor activity of CE was better than that of the purified anthocyanins component. Moreover, CE could increase the intracellular reactive oxygen species levels and the apoptosis, and arrest HepG2 cells in the S phases. These findings provided an effective and feasible method for anthocyanins extraction, and reduced the environmental burden of this waste. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Anthocyanins: Extraction, Purification and Applications)
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Open AccessArticle
Carbohydrate Hydrolase-Inhibitory Activity of Juice-Based Phenolic Extracts in Correlation to Their Anthocyanin/Copigment Profile
Molecules 2020, 25(22), 5224; https://doi.org/10.3390/molecules25225224 - 10 Nov 2020
Viewed by 510
Abstract
Red fruits and their juices are rich sources of polyphenols, especially anthocyanins. Some studies have shown that such polyphenols can inhibit enzymes of the carbohydrate metabolism, such as α-amylase and α-glucosidase, that indirectly regulate blood sugar levels. The presented study examined the in [...] Read more.
Red fruits and their juices are rich sources of polyphenols, especially anthocyanins. Some studies have shown that such polyphenols can inhibit enzymes of the carbohydrate metabolism, such as α-amylase and α-glucosidase, that indirectly regulate blood sugar levels. The presented study examined the in vitro inhibitory activity against α-amylase and α-glucosidase of various phenolic extracts prepared from direct juices, concentrates, and purees of nine different berries which differ in their anthocyanin and copigment profile. Generally, the extracts with the highest phenolic content—aronia (67.7 ± 3.2 g GAE/100 g; cyanidin 3-galactoside; chlorogenic acid), pomegranate (65.7 ± 7.9 g GAE/100 g; cyanidin 3,5-diglucoside; punicalin), and red grape (59.6 ± 2.5 g GAE/100 g; malvidin 3-glucoside; quercetin 3-glucuronide)—showed also one of the highest inhibitory activities against α-amylase (326.9 ± 75.8 μg/mL; 789.7 ± 220.9 μg/mL; 646.1 ± 81.8 μg/mL) and α-glucosidase (115.6 ± 32.5 μg/mL; 127.8 ± 20.1 μg/mL; 160.6 ± 68.4 μg/mL) and, partially, were even more potent inhibitors than acarbose (441 ± 30 μg/mL; 1439 ± 85 μg/mL). Additionally, the investigation of single anthocyanins and glycosylated flavonoids demonstrated a structure- and size-dependent inhibitory activity. In the future in vivo studies are envisaged. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Anthocyanins: Extraction, Purification and Applications)
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Review

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Open AccessReview
Anthocyanins, Microbiome and Health Benefits in Aging
Molecules 2021, 26(3), 537; https://doi.org/10.3390/molecules26030537 - 21 Jan 2021
Cited by 1 | Viewed by 641
Abstract
The percentage of individuals over the age of 60 is projected to reach 22% by 2050; chronic diseases associated with aging can present challenges for these individuals. Anthocyanins and the gut microbiome have each been studied as independent influencers of health. Both these [...] Read more.
The percentage of individuals over the age of 60 is projected to reach 22% by 2050; chronic diseases associated with aging can present challenges for these individuals. Anthocyanins and the gut microbiome have each been studied as independent influencers of health. Both these factors have shown to have a positive effect on cardiovascular and bone health in individuals, as well as on the prevention or treatment of certain forms of cancers. Anthocyanins have shown to modulate the composition of the gut microbiome and may have overlapping mechanisms in the prevention and treatment of cardiovascular disease, cancer, neurodegenerative disorders and aging-associated bone loss. These health outcomes are responsible for the hospitalization and deaths of millions of Americans every year and they cost the United States billions of dollars each year to maintain, prevent and treat. Alternative methods of treatment and prevention are desired since conventional methods (surgical and pharmacological methods, physical therapy, etc.) can be costly and have significant side effects; evidence suggests that anthocyanins and the gut microbiome may be potential avenues for this. This review evaluates the findings of existing literature on the role of anthocyanins and the gut microbiome on health and their potential as a natural therapeutic agent or a target organ to provide an alternative to the conventional methods of disease prevention and treatment. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Anthocyanins: Extraction, Purification and Applications)
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