Sources of Betalains

  • Erum Akbar Hussain
  • Zubi Sadiq
  • Muhammad Zia-Ul-Haq


Betalains occur only in few plant families of order Caryophyllales where they found vital constituents in edible parts of plants usually in leaves, flowers, and stems. They also occur in some fungi of higher order like in the fly agaric (A. muscaria) and some genera of Basidiomycetes. Red beetroots (B. vulgaris), cacti fruits belonging to the genus Opuntia (mainly Opuntia ficus-indica), the dragon fruits of Hylocereus cacti (mainly Hylocereus polyrhizus), and the Swiss chard (B. vulgaris) are the known edible sources of betacyanins and betaxanthin. The less common edible sources are Ulluco tubers (Ullucus tuberosus), fruits and berries of Eulychnia cacti, and Rivina humilis. It is a class of yellow and red indole-derived pigments which replace anthocyanin pigments in plants and are mainly responsible for coloration, but their role in fungi is unknown. Betalain accumulation occurs in cell vacuoles synthesized mainly in epidermal and subepidermal plant tissues due to their hydrophilicity.


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Copyright information

© Springer International Publishing AG, part of Springer Nature 2018

Authors and Affiliations

  • Erum Akbar Hussain
    • 1
  • Zubi Sadiq
    • 1
  • Muhammad Zia-Ul-Haq
    • 1
  1. 1.Lahore College for Women UniversityLahorePakistan

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