Extraction and Stability of Anthocyanins Present in the Skin of the Dragon Fruit (Hylocereus undatus)


The extraction of anthocyanins present in the skin of the dragon fruit was performed using trifluoroacetic acid (TFA) plus a mixture of methanol, acetic acid and water; the anthocyanins were then purified with a LC-18 cartridge, using methanol acidified with TFA as eluent, reaching concentrations of 44.3865 ± 1.3125 mg/100g of sample. The extracts were put through stability tests under different storage conditions, modifying the pH of the extracts (pH of 1, 4 and 6), the temperature (4℃, 25℃ and 68℃) and the absence and presence of light for a time period of 4 days; the tests indiated that anthocyanins remain more stable at a temperature of 4℃ with a pH of 4 in the absence of light, retaining up to 80% of the pigment. Three anthocyanins were partially identified in the extracts by high performance liquid chromatography (HPLC); they were: cyanidin 3-O-glucoside, cyanidin 3,5 O-glucoside and pelargonidin 3,5 O-glucoside.

Share and Cite:

M. Vargas, J. Cortez, E. Duch, A. Lizama and C. Méndez, "Extraction and Stability of Anthocyanins Present in the Skin of the Dragon Fruit (Hylocereus undatus)," Food and Nutrition Sciences, Vol. 4 No. 12, 2013, pp. 1221-1228. doi: 10.4236/fns.2013.412156.

Conflicts of Interest

The authors declare no conflicts of interest.


[1] G. Del Valle, A. González and R. Báez, “Antocianinas en Uva (Vitis vinifera) y su Relación con el Color,” Revista de Fitotecnología, Vol. 28, No. 1, 2005, pp. 359-368.
[2] O. Anderson and G. Francis, “Techniques of Pigment Identification,” Annual Plant Reviews—Plant Pigments and Their Manipulation, Vol. 14, 2004, pp. 293-341.
[3] G. Garzón, “Las Antocianinas como Colorantes Naturales y Compuestos Bioactivos,” Revisión. Acta Biol. Colombia, Vol. 13, No. 3, 2008, pp. 27-36.
[4] J. Walford, “Developments in Food Colors,” Applied Science Publishers, London, 1980, pp. 116-142.
[5] J. Gross, “Pigments in fruits,” Academic Press, London, 1987.
[6] J. J. Macheix, A. Fleuriet and J. Billot, “Fruit Phenolics,” CRC Press, Florida, 1990, pp. 1-17,39-81,105-149.
[7] R. E. Wrostald, R. W. Durst and J. Lee, “Tracking Color and Pigment Changes in Anthocyanin Products,” Trends in Food Science and Technology, Vol. 16, No. 9, 2005, pp. 423-428. http://dx.doi.org/10.1016/j.tifs.2005.03.019
[8] L. E. Rodriguez-Saona and R. E. Wrolstad, “Extraction, Isolation and Purification of Anthocyanins,” In: Current Protocols in Food Analytical Chemistral, John Wiley and sons, New York, 2001, pp. 1-11.
[9] M. E. Cuevas, A. Antezana and P. Winterhalter, “Análisis y Caracterización de Antocianinas en Diferentes Variedades de Maíz (Zea mays) Boliviano,” In: Memorias Red-Alfa Lagrotech, Comunidad Europea, Cartagena, Colombia, 2008, pp. 79-95.
[10] J. B. Harborne and R. J. Grayer., “The Anthocyanins,” In: Harborne Although the Hemical Structure of Anthocyanins. The flavonoids: Advances in Research since 1980, Chapman and Hall, London, 1988, pp. 1-20.
[11] V. Hong and R. E. Wrolstad, “Use of HPLC Separation/ Photodiode Array Detection for Characterization of Anthocyanins,” Journal of Agricultural and Food Chemistry, Vol. 38, No. 3, 1990, pp. 708-715.
[12] A. Hagiwara, H. Yoshino, T. Ichiharam, M. Kawabe, S. Tamano, H. Aoki, T. Koda, M. Nakamura, K. Imaida, N. Ito and T. Shirai, “Prevention by Natural Food Anthocyanins, Purple Sweet Potato Color and Red Cabbage Color, of 2-Amino-1-Methyl-6-Phenylimidazo[4,5-B]Pyridine (Phip)-Associated Colorectal Carcinogenesis in Rats,” The Journal of Toxicological Sciences, Vol. 27, No. 1, 2002, pp. 57-68. http://dx.doi.org/10.2131/jts.27.57
[13] F. Tristan, B. Kraft, B. M. Schmidt, G. G. Yousef, C. T. G. Knigh, M. Cuendet, Y. H. Kang, J. M. Pezzuto, D. S. Seigler and M. A. Lila, “Chemopreventive Potential of Wild Lowbush Blueberry Fruits in Multiple Stages of Carcinogenesis,” Journal of Food Science, Vol. 70, No. 3, 2005, pp. s159-s166.
[14] J. Wang and G. Mazza, “Inhibitory Effects of Anthocyanins and Other Phenolic Compounds on Nitric Oxide Production in LPS/IFN Gamma-Activated RAW 264.7 Macrophages,” Journal of Agricultural and Food Chemistry, Vol. 50, No. 4, 2002, pp. 850-857.
[15] R. Moyer, K. Hummer, Ch. Finn, B. Frei and R. Wrolstad, “Anthocyanins. Phenolics, and Antioxidant Capacity in Diverse Small Fruits: Vaccinium, Rubus, and Ribes,” Journal of Agricultural and Food Chemistry, Vol. 50, No. 3, 2002, pp. 519-525. http://dx.doi.org/10.1021/jf011062r
[16] R. E. Wrolstad, “Anthocyanins,” In: Natural Food Colorants, Marcel Dekker, New York, 2000, pp. 237-252.
[17] B. A. Cevallos-Casals and L. Cisneros-Zeballos, “Stability of Anthocyanin Based Aqueous Extract of Andean Purple Corn and Red Fleshed Sweet Potato Compared to Synthetic and Natural Colorants,” Food Chemistry, Vol. 86, No. 1, 2004, pp. 69-77.
[18] H. Y. D. Ortiz, “Hacia el Conocimiento de la Conservación de la Pitahaya,” México, 2000, p. 124.
[19] A. R. Centurión, S. Solís, V. C. Saucedo, S. R. Báez and E. Sauri, “Cambios Físicos, Químicos y Sensoriales en Frutos de Pitahaya (Hylocreus undatus) Durante su Desarrollo,” Fitotecnia Mexicana, Vol. 31, No. 1, 2008, pp. 1-5.
[20] V. E. Chan, “Variación de Color y del Contenido de Pigmentos del Epicarpio de la Pitahaya (Hilocereus undatus),” Masters Thesis, Instituto Tecnológico de Mérida, México, 2006.
[21] G. R. McGuire, “Reporting of Objective Color Measurements,” HortScience, Vol. 27, No. 12, 1992, pp. 12541255.
[22] G. Pena, Y. Salinas and R. Ríos, “Contenido de Antocianinas Totales y Actividad Antioxidante en Frutos de Frambuesa (Rubus idaeus L.) con Diferentes Grados de Maduración,” Revista Chapingo Serie Horticultura, Vol. 12, No. 2, 2006, pp. 159-163.
[23] M. G. Aguilera, C. L. Alanis, C. M. García and B. Hernández, “Caracterización y Estabilidad de Antocianinas de Higo, Variedad Mission,” Universidad y Ciencia, Vol. 25, No. 2, 2009, pp. 151-158.
[24] C. Brenes, D. Pozo and S. Talcott, “Stability of Copigmented Anthocyanins and Ascorbic Acid in a Grape Juice Model System,” Journal of Agricultural and Food Chemistry, Vol. 53, No. 1, 2005, pp. 49-56.
[25] S. Talcott and J. Lee, “Ellagic Acid and Flavonoid Antioxidant Content of Muscadine Wine and Juice,” Journal of Agricultural and Food Chemistry, Vol. 50, No. 11, 2002, pp. 3186-3192.
[26] A. Nerd, F. Gutman and Y. Mizrahi, “Ripening and Postharvest Behavior of Fruits of Two Hylocereus Species (Cactaceae),” Postharvest Biology and Technology, Vol. 17, No. 1, 1999, pp. 39-45.
[27] J. M. Anttonen and O. R. Karjalainen, “Environmental and Genetic Varation of Phenolic Compounds in Red Raspberry,” Journal of Food Composition and Analysis, Vol. 18, No. 8, 2005, pp. 759-769.
[28] Y. Salinas, L. Herrera, S. Montes and P. Herrera, “Composición de Antocianinas en Variedades de Frijol Negro (Phaseolus vulgaris L.) Cultivadas en México,” Agrociencia, Vol. 39, No. 4, 2005, pp. 385-394.
[29] T. Fuleki and F. J. Francis, “Quantitative Methods for Anthocyanins Extraction and Determination of Total Anthocyanins in cranberries,” Journal of Food Science, Vol. 33, No. 1, 1968, pp. 72-77.
[30] J. Hutchings, “Food Color and Appearance,” Aspen Publishers, Washington DC, 1999.
[31] G. Mazza, “Anthocyanin in Grapes and Grape Products,” Critical Reviews in Food Science and Nutrition, Vol. 35, No. 4, 1995, pp. 341-371.
[32] O. Ugaz, “Colorantes Naturales,” Fondo Editorial de la Pontificia Universidad Católica del Perú, Perú, 1997.
[33] S. Badui, “Química de los Alimentos,” Pearson Educación, México, 2006.
[34] C. F. Timberlake and B. S. Henry, “Plant Pigments as Natural Food Colours,” Endeavour NS, 1986, pp. 31-36.
[35] R. Brouillard and B. Delaporte, “Chemistry of Anthocyanin Pigments. 2 Kinetic and Thermodynamic Study of Proton Transfer, Hydration, and Tautometric Reactions of Malvidin 3-Glucoside,” Journal of the American Chemical Society, Vol. 99, No. 26, 1977, pp. 8461-8468.
[36] R. Brouillard, G. Mazza, Z. Saad, A. M. Albrecht-Gray and A. Cheminat, “The Copigmentation Reaction of Anthocyanins: A Microprobe for the Structural Study of Aqueous Solutions,” Journal of the American Chemical Society, Vol. 111, No. 7, 1989, pp. 2604-2610.
[37] N. Palamadis and P. Markakis, “Stability of Grape Anthocyanin in a Carbonated Beverage,” Journal of Food Science, Vol. 40, No. 5, 1975, pp. 1047-1049.
[38] P. L. Buldini, S. Cavalli and J. L. Sharma, “Matrix Removal for the Ion Chromatographic Determination of Some Trace Elements in Milk,” Microchemical Journal, Vol. 72, No. 3, 2002, pp. 277-284.
[39] S. Pascual-Teresa, J. C. Rivas and C. Santos, “Prodelphinidins and Related Flavanols in Wine,” International Journal of Food Science and Technology, Vol. 35, No. 1, 2000, pp. 33-40.

Copyright © 2022 by authors and Scientific Research Publishing Inc.

Creative Commons License

This work and the related PDF file are licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution 4.0 International License.