Antioxidant and Antimicrobial Potential of Natural Colouring Pigment Derived from Bixa orellana L. Seed Aril

  • Vinod Kumar NathanEmail author
  • Mary Esther Rani
  • Gunaseeli Rathinasamy
  • Kannan Narayanan Dhiraviam
Research Article


Natural colourants with bio-potential are of great commercial demands as we are moving away from the hazardous and toxic chemical dyes. Bixa orellana L. a representative of Bixaceae is rich in bixin and nor-bixin pigments which could be explored for various applications. In the present study, extraction and characterization of bixin and its associated pigment from the aril of the B. orellana L. seeds were performed using various spectroscopic techniques. Spectroscopic analysis and Gas chromatographic profiling of the pigment were performed to understand the present pigments. Toxicity was evaluated through in silico method. The major component, bixin and nor-bixin were proved to be non-toxic, non-carcinogenic and non-mutagenic through in silico methods. The pigment was found to be a potent antioxidant as well as bactericidal against opportunistic bacteria. It was found that bixin extract was a potential antioxidant and bactericidal agent. Hence it could be used for imparting bactericidal potential for cellulosic materials like papers or textiles in biomedical applications.


Bixin Co-pigments Gas chromatography Mass spectroscopy Stability Natural colourant 



The authors are thankful to Department of Science and Technology, Government of India and TNSCST for providing the grant to facilitate the research [Sanction Order No. DST/SSTP/TN/2K 10/126(G) 13-09-2011]. The authors thank Management and Department of Botany and Microbiology, Lady Doak College, Madurai for providing the facilities and supporting the work.

Compliance with Ethical Standards

Conflict of interest

The authors declare that they have no conflict of interest.

Supplementary material

40011_2017_927_MOESM1_ESM.docx (2.1 mb)
Supplementary material 1 (DOCX 2200 kb)


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Copyright information

© The National Academy of Sciences, India 2017

Authors and Affiliations

  • Vinod Kumar Nathan
    • 1
    • 2
    Email author
  • Mary Esther Rani
    • 1
  • Gunaseeli Rathinasamy
    • 3
  • Kannan Narayanan Dhiraviam
    • 4
  1. 1.Centre for Research, Department of Botany and MicrobiologyLady Doak CollegeMaduraiIndia
  2. 2.National Institute of Oceanography-CSIRCochinIndia
  3. 3.Centre for Environmental StudiesLady Doak CollegeMaduraiIndia
  4. 4.Department of Plant Biotechnology, School of BiotechnologyMadurai Kamaraj UniversityMaduraiIndia

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