THE METHODS OF SCIENCE

Anthocyanin or anthocyanidin belongs to the bioflavonoid group and is a bluish-red pigment that protects plants, their flowers and their fruits against ultraviolet light (UV )

The term anthocyanin was proposed by Marquart in 1835 to describe the blue pigment of red cabbage (Brassica oleracea) . Anthocyanins currently comprise the red, violet and blue pigments of plants.

In the specific case of anthocyanins, the bathochromic effect occurs, which is that when the acidity changes, ie (R = OH, R '= H) under neutral conditions, and at the same time the pH changes from orange red under acidic conditions, such as pelargonidine (R, R' = H), to reddish violet red of cyanidin purple-blue red of the delphinidine (R, R '= OH), under alkaline conditions. Willstätter was the first to describe the color change of anthocyanins.

Variation in the color of a rose extract with pH

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A factor that contributes to the variety of colors in flowers , leaves and fruits is the coexistence of several anthocyanins in the same tissue, for example in the flowers of the royal mallow we can find malvidin (R, R'= OCH3) and delphinidin.

Anthocyanins, besides in the flowers can also be found in the leaves, causing them to show a reddish color. This coloration can be due to a defense mechanism, to stimulate the pollination or to a degradation of the chlorophyll.

General structure of the antiocianinas

(Information processed from Wikipedia)

  • Adam Floyd