Analysis and Antioxidant Capacity of Anthocyanin Pigments. Part II: Chemical Structure, Color, and Intake of Anthocyanins

Julia Martín Bueno, Purificación Sáez-Plaza, Fernando Ramos-Escudero, Ana Maria Jiménez, Roseane Fett, Agustin G. Asuero

Resultado de la investigación: Contribución a una revistaArtículorevisión exhaustiva

115 Citas (Scopus)


Anthocyanins belong to a large group of secondary plant metabolites collectively known as flavonoids, a subclass of the polyphenol family. They are a group of very efficient bioactive compounds that are widely distributed in plant food. Anthocyanins occur in all plant tissues, including leaves, stems, roots, flowers, and fruits. Research on phenolic compounds through the last century, from the chemical, biochemical, and biological points of view, has focused mainly on the anthocyanins. Anthocyanins have structures consisting of two aromatic rings linked by three carbons in an oxygenated heterocycle (i.e., a chromane ring bearing a second aromatic ring in position 2). The basic chromophore of anthocyanins is the 7-hydroxyflavilyum ion. Anthocyanin pigments consist of two or three chemical units: an aglycon base or flavylium ring (anthocyanidin), sugars, and possibly acylating groups. Only six of the different anthocyanidins found in nature occur frequently and are of dietary importance: cyanidin, delphinidin, petunidin, peonidin, pelargonidin, and malvidin. Each aglycon may be glycosilated or acylated by different sugars and aromatic or aliphatic acids, yielding over 600 different anthocyanins reported from plants. The sugar moiety is typically attached at the 3-position on the C-ring or the 5-position on the A-ring. The chromophore of eight conjugate double bonds carrying a positive charge on the heterocyclic oxygen ring is responsible for the intensive red-orange to blue-violet color produced by anthocyanins under acidic conditions. Anthocyanins occur in solution as a mixture of different secondary structures: flavylium ion, a quinoidal base, a carbinol base, and a chalcone pseudobase. Self-association, intermolecular, and intramolecular co-pigmentation of anthocyanins leads to the formation of tertiary structures through varying stabilization mechanisms. Anthocyanin composition has been used as a botanical tool for taxonomic classification of plants. In addition, anthocyanin profiles of fruits and vegetables allow detecting adulteration of anthocyanin-based products and are indicators of product quality. Anthocyanins are common components of the human diet, as they are present in many foods, fruits, and vegetables, especially in berries. Moreover, anthocyanins have an antioxidant activity, depending to a large extent upon their chemical structure. Many epidemiological studies have shown the benefits of a diet rich in fruit and vegetables to human health, and for the prevention of various diseases associated with oxidative stress, such as cancer and cardiovascular diseases. Anthocyanin-rich extracts are increasingly attractive to the food industry as natural alternatives to synthetic FD&C dyes and lakes, because of their coloring properties. Anthocyanins are also one of the nine European Union-designated natural color classes. Various adverse effects on health have frequently been attributed to synthetic antioxidants. For these reasons, currently, there is a trend towards relying on antioxidants derived from natural products. Anthocyanins act as antioxidants both in the foodstuffs in which they are found and in the organism after intake of these foods. This review, like the first one of the series, intends to reflect the interdisciplinary nature of the research that is currently carried out in this prolific area.

Idioma originalInglés
Páginas (desde-hasta)126-151
Número de páginas26
PublicaciónCritical Reviews in Analytical Chemistry
EstadoPublicada - abr 2012
Publicado de forma externa


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