Turnips bleed red, but a chemical solution can create a blue color

The results could pave the way for a rare natural blue color used to color food, clothing, etc.

Beet juice is red. Now the chemists are coloring it blue. It may have potential for consumers like you.

Natural dyes are in demand for food and cosmetics. However, biology blue pigments are difficult to fill. The brilliant blue of jays, butterflies and dragonflies is the result of a slight explosion, so no pigment is isolated (SN: 06/30/17). Choosing blueberries is not an option “because the pigment does not contain any and its blue color can change or disappear”, explains Erick Leite Bastos, chemist at the Universidade de São Paulo in Brazil.

Instead, Bastos and his colleagues chemically modified a food coloring additive found in beets to make it blue, the team told Science Advances on April 3.

Chemists can adjust the color of certain molecules by alternately adding single and double bonds to their chemical structures. It can “create molecules that absorb yellow / orange light and therefore appear blue,” says Bastos.

The beet pig already has ties in this alternating arrangement, but not enough to appear blue. Bastos accepted that he could get a blue color by parting part of the atomic structure of beet shade and supplanting it with a compound called 2,4-dimethylpyrrole, which itself a compound called 2,4-dimethylpyrrole, which itself has alternate bonds, which widens the pattern.
The dye, called BeetBlue, is stored under acidic conditions that fade or change a lot of blue dyes. In laboratory tests, tissue, yogurt, and hair have been shown. Some blue dyes contain toxic metals, but BeetBlue is not toxic to living zebrafish embryos and cultured human cells, tests have shown.

“We still don’t know if you can eat BeetBlue,” he said, as much more testing is needed to show that there is new safe consumption. While 2,4-dimethylpyrrole is not of natural origin, Bastos suspects that in the future, by working with natural compounds, his team could achieve blue, creating a family of blues that could be suitable for d ‘other activites.

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