Betalains are natural water-soluble nitrogen containing pigments, synthesized from tyrosine into the red-violet betacyanins and the yellow-orange betaxanthin.
Betalamic acid is the chromophore common to all betalain pigments.
Crude red beetroot concentrate is universally permitted as a food ingredient, termed “beetroot red”.
Betalains are stable over a wide pH range (3–7), which make them suitable for application in a broad variety of foods, in contrast with the less hydrophilic anthocyanins, which lose color under low acid conditions (de Azeredo et al., 2009).
European Union has approved the use of betalains as food colorant and has been labelled as E-162.
Betalains are particularly used as a natural additive for food, drugs and cosmetic products in the form of beet juice concentrate or beet powder (Singh and Hathan., 2014).