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Anais da Academia Brasileira de Ciências

Print version ISSN 0001-3765On-line version ISSN 1678-2690

Abstract

QUINA, FRANK H.  and  BASTOS, ERICK L.. Chemistry Inspired by the Colors of Fruits, Flowers and Wine. An. Acad. Bras. Ciênc. [online]. 2018, vol.90, n.1, suppl.1, pp.681-695. ISSN 0001-3765.  https://doi.org/10.1590/0001-3765201820170492.

An overview is provided of the status of research at the frontiers of investigation of the chemistry and photochemistry of two classes of natural plant pigments, the anthocyanins and the betalains, as well as of the pyranoanthocyanin pigments formed from anthocyanins during the maturation of red wine. Together, anthocyanins and betalains are responsible for almost all of the red, purple and blue colors of fruits and flowers and anthocyanins and pyranoanthocyanins are major contributors to the color of red wines. All three types of pigments are cationic below about pH 3, highly colored, non-toxic, reasonably soluble in water or alcohol and fairly stable to light. They exhibit good antioxidant or antiradical activity and, as part of our diet, confer a number of important health benefits. Systematic studies of model compounds containing the basic chromophoric groups of these three types of pigments are providing a deeper understanding of the often complex chemistry and photochemistry of these pigments and their relationship to the roles in vivo of these pigments in plants. These natural pigments are currently being exploited as starting materials for the preparation of novel semi-synthetic dyes, pigments and fluorescence probes.

Keywords : Anthocyanins; betalains; flowers; plant pigments; wine.

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