Mexican researchers have identified the Neocandenatone, a new purple pigment that is present in the heartwood of Dalbergia congestiflora. According to the study published in the journal Food Research International, neocandenatone showed “excellent integration and stability” in matrices for both gelatin gummies and hard candies.
Three pigment samples with different neocandenatone concentrations were prepared: fraction A (crude extract), fraction B (degreased extract), and fraction C (pure pigment), containing 6.95%, 70.55%, and 98.00% neocandenatone, respectively. None of the three fractions showed mutagenicity using the Ames test with Salmonella typhimurium strains TA98, TA100, and TA102, and these fractions were not genotoxic according to the micronucleus test. Fraction B was selected to pigment gelatin gummies at 0.007, 0.014, 0.028, and 0.031% and hard candies at 0.025, 0.05 and 0.075% w/w. As a comparison, a commercial anthocyanin (3% enocyanin) was used to prepare the gummies (0.025, 0.05, 0.062, and 0.1%) and hard candies (025, 0.05, and 0.1%). The H° values for gummies ranged from 1.78 to 65.64° and 7.19 to 45.54° for neocandenatone and anthocyanin, respectively, while those for hard candies ranged from 33.64 to 62.52° and 25.31 to 68.16° for neocandenatone and anthocyanin, respectively.
The concentration of neocandenatone in selected samples of gummies (63.3% sugars w/w) and hard candies (80% sugars w/w) showed no significant differences (p>0.05) over 2months. In contrast, the enocyanin concentration decreased following first-order kinetics in both gummies (k=0.104 w－ 1) and hard candies (k=0.084 w－ 1).