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Critical Reviews™ in Eukaryotic Gene Expression
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Critical Reviews™ in Eukaryotic Gene Expression

DOI: 10.1615/CritRevEukaryotGeneExpr.2020030231
pages 169-189

Betalains: Potential Drugs with Versatile Phytochemistry

Syed Farhad Hussain Naqvi
Department of Applied Chemistry, Government College University Faisalabad, Pakistan
Muhammad Husnain
Department of Applied Chemistry, Government College University Faisalabad, Pakistan


Currently, the demand for natural colorants is increasing instead of synthetic colorants for foodstuff, because they are harmless to human health. Betalain is group of compounds containing nitrogen and water soluble pigment. Betalain is classified into two main classes, betacyanin which is the condensation of betalamic acid with cyclo-DOPA and betaxanthin which is the conjugation of amino acid or amines with betalamic acid. They are used to color various foods and medicines. Betalain is different from anthocyanin because betalains contain nitrogen in their structures. It is interesting to hear that betalains and anthocyanins are individually significant but they have not seen together in the same plant. Their stability influenced by various factors such as, temperature, pH, water activity and light. In this review basic chemistry of betalains, classes, subclasses, their sources and biosynthesis, factors affecting their stability, health and food industry applications are discussed. Moreover, mentioned work signifies the potent anticancer, antioxidant and antimalarial activities of betalains, furthermore provides a help to do more scientific work on it.


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