A Colored Avocado Seed Extract as a Potential Natural Colorant

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There is an increasing consumer demand for and scientific interest in new natural colorants. Avocado (Persea americana) seed when crushed with water develops an orange color (= 480 nm) in a time-dependent manner. Heat treatment of the seed prevented color development, whereas the addition of exogenous polyphenol oxidase (PPO), but not peroxidase restored color development. Color development was also inhibited by the addition of tropolone, an inhibitor of PPO. Color formation resulted in a decrease in the concentration of polyphenols indicating utilization for color formation. The orange color intensified as the pH was adjusted from 2.0 to 11.0, and these changes were only partially reversible when pH was adjusted from 7.5 to 11.0 in the presence of oxygen, but completely reversible when the pH was changed in the absence of oxygen. The color was found to be stable in solution at -18 °C for 2 mo. These results suggest that the avocado seed may be a potential source of natural colorant, and that color development is PPO-dependent. Practical Application: There is growing public and scientific interest in the development of natural alternatives to synthetic colorants in foods. Extracts of turmeric, paprika, and beets are examples of food-derived natural colorants. Avocado seeds, which represent an under-utilized waste stream, form a stable orange color when crushed in the presence of air. Our data indicate that avocado seed represents a potential source of new natural colorants for use in foods.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)C1335-C1341
JournalJournal of Food Science
Issue number9
StatePublished - Nov 2011

All Science Journal Classification (ASJC) codes

  • Food Science


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