• 1 Institute of Biological Sciences, Faculty of Science, University of Malaysia, 50603 Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia
Pak J Biol Sci, 2008 Sep 15;11(18):2259-63.
PMID: 19137837


The peel of Hylocereus polyrhizus is often regarded as a waste hence this study was aimed at exploring the feasibility of using the peel as a natural colorant using simple water extraction method. Samples were subjected to a series of temperatures: Room temperature (RT), 50, 80 and 100 degrees C; varied length of heating time from 1, 2, 3, 4, 5 and 10 min and a varied range of pH using 1 M of citric acid solution. The best condition to obtain highest betacyanin content was heating samples at 100 degrees C for 5 min in a pH 5 citric acid solution. The next part of this study involved the stability test of the pigments obtained through the best method determined earlier. The pigments were dried and resuspended in distilled water. The samples were then exposed to light to monitor pigment changes. Initial resuspension of the dried pigments yielded a comparable high content of betacyanins to its juice counterpart. The results showed that resuspended pigments had high pigment retention and were stable up to 7 days. These initial findings must be further studied in more controlled conditions to understand the stability of betacyanin. Nevertheless, the results show that betacyanin obtained from the peel of dragon fruit has a high potential to be used as a natural dye.

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