The natural color of foods is due primarily to carotenoids, anthocyanins, betanin and chlorophylls, either as inherent food constituents or as food or feed additives. These compounds have drawn considerable attention in recent years, not because of their coloring properties, but due to their potential health-promoting effects. Their occurrence and levels in foods, along with the factors that influence the composition, have been widely investigated. Processing effects have been actively studied. In spite of the intense search for plant and microbial sources and efforts to increase yield, few natural food color additives have reached the market. Lack of stability is a major deterrent; microencapsulation and nanoencapsulation are being advocated to minimize this problem.
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