Anthocyanin Purification Method

A highly pure and efficient method for anthocyanin purification from fruits and vegetables

The Need

Anthocyanins are natural pigments responsible for the vivid red to blue colors of many fruits and vegetables. As highly consumed dietary antioxidants, anthocyanins are receiving increasing attention due to their potential health benefits. Growing evidence from epidemiological, cell culture, animal and clinical studies suggests preventive and therapeutic effects from anthocyanins on oxidative stress related diseases such as cancer and coronary heart disease. Extraction and fractionation of high purity anthocyanins from fruits and vegetables are important for many biological studies as well as food processing applications. Solid-phase extraction (SPE) methods are currently the most commonly used to purify anthocyanin extracts, due to a balance of efficiency and cost. However, the existing methods normally rely on hydrophilic or hydrophobic interactions between the sorbent and the analyte, where a broad spectrum of plant constituents will inevitably mix with the anthocyanin fraction. The impurities, usually phenolic compounds, are likely to interfere with anthocyanin bioactivity in scientific studies and accelerate the degradation of anthocyanins in commercial applications. As a result, a more specific purification is required to ensure anthocyanin potency as a supplement or additive.

The Technology

The Ohio State University researchers, led by Dr. Giusti, developed a novel means for anthocyanin separation based on a cation-exchange mechanism. The technology takes advantage of the positive charge on anthocyanin flavylium cation at a low pH, a unique characteristic not found in most other plant compositions. This method is superior to standard methods with regards to the purity, the recovery, the sorbent capacity, and the simplicity of the procedure. The new technique achieved above 99% anthocyanin purity while maintaining an excellent yield of 93.6% with a low procedure cost.

Commercial Applications

  • Biological studies
  • Food and beverage
  • Pharmaceutical


  • Higher purity and efficiency than existing solid-phase extraction methods
  • High recovery
  • Simple procedure
  • Collection and purification of large quantities of anthocyanins
  • More cost effective than current industry pure standards


Patent # Title Country
8,575,334 High-Purity Fractionation of Anthocyanins from Fruits and Vegetables United States of America

Loading icon