Natural pigments are food colors obtained from natural sources. Pigments mainly extracted from animal and plant tissues and microorganisms (culture), of which plant colorants are dominant. Natural pigments not only have the effect of coloring foods, but also a considerable portion of natural pigments have physiological activity.
Natural pigments derived from roots, stems, leaves, flowers, fruits, animals, and microorganisms of natural plants. Edible pigments are called edible natural pigments. The proportion of food coloring in foods is small in terms of added amount. For products, beverages, alcohol, cakes, candy, medicine, etc., a few thousandths, a few thousandths or even a few hundred thousandths. Although natural pigments are widely allowed as food colorants, the definitions and permits for natural food colorings vary from country to country. Some substances are identified as flavors rather than pigments, so many spices are not recognized as pigments. In Sweden, for example, the country recognizes that turmeric, pepper, saffron and sandalwood are not pigments, but spices. Other food regulations such as Italy, the Netherlands, Switzerland and Norway have similar regulations.
The development and application of natural pigments (Natural Pigments) has become a topic of common concern to science and technology workers in various industries. Attempts have been made to obtain natural pigments from various animal and plant resources while exploring their physiological activities to alleviate and solve various problems caused by synthetic pigments. However, due to the unstable color of the natural pigment, it is susceptible to fading, discoloration, etc. due to various factors (such as light, temperature, oxidation, pH, medium polarity, metal ions, additives, etc.) during its use. However, it affects the coloring effect, which seriously restricts the process of replacing natural synthetic pigments with artificial pigments.