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Scientists are Calling The Discovery of a Natural Blue Food Coloring from Red Cabbage 'Critical' and 'Exciting'

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The worth of the pleasant sight of the food is well branded. An eye-pleasing and vibrant look of the food is as crucial as flavor, safety, and nutritional value. Nature has offered a variety of shades to add to the meal. Besides all those natural green, yellow, and red hues, some tints rarely occur in natural elements. Blue is one of the most infrequent shades of natural dyes.

The artificial blue color adds a somewhat toxic sense to the food. Fortunately, scientists have discovered a natural blue dye that can be used in meals to enhance their show. Researchers have obtained natural cyan blue coloring, from red cabbage. This greenish-blue dye can replace synthetic colorings, such as brilliant blue FD&C Blue No. 1. Although FDA has approved these synthetic options as safe products, yet, these artificial dyes may increase the risk of attention-deficit/hyperactivity disorder (ADHD) in children.

The discovery of this cabbage-based cyan blue dye is published in the journal Science Advances. The study explains how blue especially the cyan-blue is one of the rarest colors in nature's food palette. The research basically began with researchers at Mars 20 years ago. Later the scientists at the University of California, Davis, succeed to produce the color on a mass scale.

Pamela Denish, a biophysics graduate student at the University of California, lead study author, explains Yahoo Life. "A lot of companies have tried to do that, but they've run into the problem that there’s not a lot of 'natural' sources of blue, and certainly not many that are safe for consumption."

Denish and other researchers from the University of California, Davis, along with scientists from Mars Wrigley spotted some Water-soluble anthocyanins in Red cabbage. These anthocyanins are also present in blueberries. Anthocyanins are compounds that sprinkle tint to the natural material. Their colours include, red, purple, and blue.

The original blue anthocyanins couldn’t be extracted from the red cabbage for their extremely low proportion. Scientists, therefore, apply an alternative methodology to squeeze them out. Denish and her team worked with countless enzymatic protein sequences until they found a formulation for the right color. They activate the enzyme to convert the anthocyanins in red cabbage to a blue color. The blue color composites are "a type of flavonoid- a compound with antioxidant benefits.

Denish commented about the antioxidant properties of anthocyanins and called them a bonus. She said, "Not only are we substituting the synthetic ingredients — we’re adding something that could have health benefits,

This technique would supply bulk quantities of the blue coloring in the food-dyeing industry. Moreover, the natural cyan blue could be blended with other natural dyes for more presentable servings.