Technological watch

Nanosystems of plant-based pigments and its relationship with oxidative stress

Plant-based pigments are widely present in nature, they are classified depending on their chemical structure as tetrapyrroles, carotenoids, polyphenolic compounds, and alkaloids and are extensively used in medicine, food industry, clothes, and others. Recently they have been investigated due to their role in the areas of food processing, food safety and quality, packaging, and nutrition. Many studies indicate a relationship between bioactive pigments and Non-Communicable Diseases derived from oxidative stress. Their biological applications can help in preventing oxidative injuries in the cell caused by oxygen and nitrogen reactive species. Those pigments are easily degraded by light, oxygen, temperature, pH conditions, among others. Nanotechnology offers the possibility to protect bioactive ingredients and increase its bioavailability after oral administration. Safety to humans (mainly evaluated from toxicity data) is the first concern for these products. In the present work, we present a comprehensive outlook of the most important plant-based pigments used as food colorants, the principal nanotechnology systems prepared with them, and the relationship of these compounds with the oxidative stress and related Non-Communicable Disease.

Publication date: 01/09/2020

Author: Jorge A. Aguirre-Joya, Luis E. Chacón-Garza, Guillermo Valdivia-Najár, Roberto Arredondo-Valdés, Cecilia Castro-López, Janeth M. Ventura-Sobrevilla, Cristóbal N. Aguilar-Gonzáles, Daniel Boone-Villa

Food and Chemical Toxicology


This project has received funding from the Bio Based Industries Joint Undertaking under the European Union’s Horizon 2020 research and innovation programme under grant agreement No 837761.