Anthocyanins: naturally occuring fruit pigments with functional properties
Anthocyanin is a water-soluble pigment existing in plants, and has various health benefits to humans. As far as that goes, the number and location of the hydroxyl groups of the parent nucleus have significant effects on the anthocyanin activities. This review summarizes anthocyanin content in fruits, the importance of anthocyanin in relation to human health, some aspects of anthocyanin biochemistry and their bioavailability, the distribution in some fruits, the biosynthetic pathway, different extraction, separation and purification methods, and also identification methods. Beneficial effects of anthocyanin pigments are reported in the scientific literature and these compounds are nowadays recognised as potentially therapeutic. The lack of antioxidant defense mechanisms in humans is associated with the cardiovascular and coronary artery diseases, cancer and
diabetes, besides others.