Anthocyanin is the general name applied to the glycosides of antho-cyanidin chromophores which are the origin of the red, violet, and blue colors found throughout the plant kingdom, such as the colors of petals, leaves and fruits. Only a few anthocyanidin nuclei have been found in spite of the great variety of plant colors. The major anthocyan- idins found in nature are pelargonidin, cyanidin, peonidin, delphinidin,
Fig. 1.

3,5-Diglucosides of common anthocyanins (anhydro base form). The name of the anthocyanidin is in parentheses. [From T. GOTO et al: Ann. New York Acad. Sci. 471, 155 (1986), with permission]

petunidin and malvidin (Fig. 1). The most common anthocyanins are 3-glucosides and 3,5-diglueosides of the anthocyanidins, but galactose, rhamnose, xylose and arabinose residues are also found. Many anthocyanins containing acylated sugar moieties are also known. The acyl groups are mostly derivatives of cinnamic acid such as p-coumaric, caffeic, and ferulic acid, but include some aliphatic acids such as malonic, succinic, and acetic acid as well.


Caffeic Acid Color Variation Malonic Acid Cotton Effect York Acad 
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Copyright information

© Springer-Verlag/Wien 1987

Authors and Affiliations

  • T. Goto
    • 1
  1. 1.Laboratory of Organic Chemistry, Faculty of AgricultureNagoya UniversityChikusa, NagoyaJapan

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