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Reddening of white onion bulb purees



Reddening of white onion bulb purees



Jour Agric And Food Chem 6(10): 754-765



A water-soluble red pigment is formed in acidified macerates of white onion bulb tissue and in bruised, sliced onion tissue during dehydration. Resulting reddening in onion extracts preserved by addition of acetic acid or vinegar is objectionable and pinking of dehydrated sliced white onion requires manual sorting. Pigment formation in purees is affected by variety, storage conditions, heat treatment, and acidity. Storage at 50[degree]C, after maceration and before acidification, increases rate and intensity of reddening. Heating sliced onions in steam before maceration inhibits reddening. Reddening usually is accelerated in rate and increased in intensity by acidification with acetic acid to pH 3 to 3.5 and does not occur below 2.5 or above 5.5. The isolation and purification by solvent extraction, chromato-graphic separation on column and paper, its characterization by absorption spectroscopy, and other properties are reported. Pigment is a new nitrogenous water-soluble pigment differing significantly from previously reported red plant pigments. Knowledge of structure and factors influencing reddening will be useful in explaining the differences in susceptibility to reddening with variety and growing conditions, and in avoiding this by better selection of onion bulbs and control of the factors influencing reddening.

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