Addition of norbixin microcapsules obtained by spray drying in an isotonic tangerine soft drink as a natural dye

  • Diego Santiago Tupuna-Yerovi
  • Karina Paese
  • Simone Hickmann Flôres
  • Silvia Stanisçuaski Guterres
  • Alessandro RiosEmail author
Original Article


Annatto seeds (Bixa orellana L.) are a natural source of norbixin, a carotenoid with antioxidant activity and an intense yellow–orange color which is a commonly used food and beverage colorant. However, it is susceptible to environmental factors such as light, oxygen, and temperature. Microencapsulation presents an alternative for improving the bioactive compound’s stability. In this study, norbixin microcapsules (MCN) were added to isotonic tangerine soft drinks in a quantity not exceeding food additive regulations. The final concentration was 2.86 ± 0.02 µg norbixin/mL, and according to the CIELab system, the beverage acquired the expected orange tonality. The addition of MCN favorably affects beverage stability during storage under accelerated conditions (heat and light), and the half-life time was more significant (29.71 days) than when non-encapsulated norbixin was used (393.39 min). In conclusion, MCN should be considered as an additive with potential use in processed beverage industries instead of synthetic dyes.


Norbixin Annatto Storage stability Beverages Microencapsulation 



This research was partially supported by Secretary of Higher Education, Science, Technology and Innovation of Ecuador – SENESCYT.

Author contributions

D.S. Tupuna-Yerovi designed the study, carried out the experiments, interpreted, discussed the results and wrote the manuscript. K. Paese handled the spray drying and particle size analyses equipment. S. Guterres provided equipment and revised the manuscript. S. Flôres supported and interpreted the statistical analyses. A. Rios assisted all experiments of extraction, encapsulation, characterization, evaluation and helped in results interpretation.

Compliance with ethical standards

Conflict of interest

All authors declare that they have no conflict of interest.


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Copyright information

© Association of Food Scientists & Technologists (India) 2019

Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.Department of Food Science, Institute of Food Science and TechnologyUniversidade Federal de Rio Grande do Sul (UFRGS)Porto AlegreBrazil
  2. 2.Pharmacy FacultyUniversidade Federal de Rio Grande do Sul (UFRGS)Porto AlegreBrazil
  3. 3.Agroindustrial Engineering DepartmentPontificia Universidad Católica del Ecuador – Sede Manabí (PUCEM)ChoneEcuador

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