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The presentation delineates the current approaches in the analysis of biocolorants. Tandem techniques like liquid chromatography coupled to mass spectrometry detection have been widely used in the analysis of different classes of biocolorants. Main chromophore of biocolorant family are anthocyanidins, carotenoids, betalains, bixin, phycocyanins, chlorophyll, curcuminoids, flavonoids and anthracenes.
Recent greener techniques for extraction of these colorants have also been discussed. Pressurized Liquid Extraction (PLE), Ultrasound Assisted Extraction (UAE), Microwave Assisted Extraction (MAE), Supercritical Fluid Extraction (SFE) have been used in recent times for the extraction of these biocolorants. Minimizing solvent consumption, reduction in extraction time, automatization of sample preparation and integration of extraction and clean-up steps are the major highlights of these newer extraction techniques.
Recent advances in analytical techniques have allowed unambiguous identification and confirmation of these colorants using Liquid Chromatography coupled to High Resolution Mass Spectrometry (LC-HRMS) through mass accuracy and isotopic pattern applying. Being natural origin and sensitive to higher temperature and light, certain precautions needs to be taken during the extraction and analysis of these phytomolecules.
These analytical strategies have wider scope in recent times for the analysis of colorants from natural origin.
Dr. Supradip Saha is a Principal Scientist at the Division of Agricultural Chemicals, ICAR-Indian Agricultural Research Institute, New Delhi -110012. He is a natural product chemist and presently working in the area of extraction, analysis and formulation of nutraceuticals. He is also working on carotenoids, anthocyanins and ellagitannins. He has several commercial technologies to his credit.