Dehydrated Basella alba Fruit Juice as a Novel Natural Colorant: Pigment Stability, In Vivo Food Safety Evaluation and Anti-Inflammatory Mechanism Characterization
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Flesh of Basella alba L. mature fruits bearing deep-violet juice provides a novel and potential source of natural colorant. To minimize the pigment purification process and warrant safety acceptability, B. alba colorant powder (BACP) was prepared using mature fruits through a practical batch preparation and subjected to fundamental pigment characterization, food safety assessment and bio-function evaluation. Yield of the dehydrated B. alba colorant powder (BACP) was 37 g/kg fresh fruits. Reconstituted aqueous solution of the BACP exhibited an identical visible spectrum (400–700 nm) as that of fresh juice. Color of the solution (absorbance at 540 nm) was stable in a broad pH ranged from 3 to 8 and enhanced by co-presence of calcium and magnesium ions, while was rapidly bleached by ferrous and ferric ions. For in vivo food safety evaluation, ICR mice were daily gavage administered with BACP up to 1000 mg/kg body weight for 28 days. Organ weight determination, serum biochemical analysis and histopathological examination of hearts, livers, lungs and kidneys revealed no obvious health hazard. In vitro anti-inflammatory activity of BACP was characterized in lipopolysaccharide (LPS)-induced RAW 264.7 macrophages. BACP exerted potent anti-inflammatory activity by down-regulation of inflammatory mediators including nitric oxide (NO), prostaglandin E2 (PGE2), TNF-α, IL-1β, IL-6 and IL-12 and the blockage of IκB kinase (IKK)/IκB/nuclear factor-κ B (NFκB) activation cascade. These results supported that BACP may serve as a beneficial alternative of natural food colorant.
KeywordsBasella alba fruits Natural colorant Food safety Anti-inflammatory activity
B. alba colorant powder
blood urea nitrogen
Dulbecco's Modified Eagle Medium
enzyme-linked immunosorbent assay
extracellular signal-regulated protein kinases
- H & E
hematoxylin and eosin
inducible nitric oxide synthase
c-jun N-terminal kinase
nuclear factor-κ B
Financial support by National Science Council (NSC 97-2313-B415-008-MY3) and advisory assistance on histopathological examination by Dr. D.-Y. Lo, Department of Veterinary, National Chiayi University are acknowledged.
Compliance with Ethical Standards
This study was financially supported by Ministry of Science and Technology, Executive Yuan, ROC (NSC 97–2313-B415–008-MY3).
Conflict of Interests
The authors declare no conflict of interests.
The animal experiment conducted in this study was approved by the Institutional Animal Care and Use Committee (IACUC) of National Chiayi University.
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