A New Natural Blue for Food Coloring / Un nuevo azul natural para colorantes alimentarios

  • Natural food colorings are in demand, but blue colors are rare in nature
  • Researchers identified a natural blue anthocyanin in red cabbage
  • UC Davis chemists developed an enzyme to make the blue color in usable quantities

A natural brilliant blue coloring has been discovered by an international team of researchers including chemists at the University of California, Davis. The new cyan blue, obtained from red cabbage, could be an alternative to synthetic blue food colorings such as the widely used FD&C Blue No. 1. The work is published April 7 in Science Advances.

“Blue colors are really quite rare in nature – a lot of them are really reds and purples,” said Pamela Denish, a graduate student working with Professor Justin Siegel at the UC Davis Department of Chemistry and Innovation Institute for Food and Health.

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