Fruit pigment changes during ripening

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Characteristics of fruits such as color, flavor, shape, size and absence of external defects play important role in their acceptance by consumers. Among these characteristics, the appearance of fruits especially their colors, is one of the major contributors to consumers’ food choices. Color intensity is associated with the ripening of fruits that are responsible for the flavor of fruits such as sweetness or sourness and textural changes. Pigments contribute to the coloration of fruits. Naturally occurring pigments from fruits are widely known for their health benefits. Chlorophylls, carotenoids and anthocyanins are among the most common fruit pigments and these pigments are widely distributed in the plant kingdom. Understanding fruit pigments changes during ripening is important for harvesting these fruits at their correct stage of maturity. This will in turn optimize the development of a highly acceptable fruit product for the fresh market or for processing or for the functional food market where consumers’ perceptions of health or nutritional effects of the fruits are critical. In addition, these pigments are used as natural colorants as well. This chapter will highlight the changes of three common fruit pigments (chlorophylls, carotenoids and anthocyanins) during ripening.

Original languageEnglish
Title of host publicationEncyclopedia of Food Chemistry
EditorsLaurence Melton, Fereidoon Shahidi, Peter Varelis
Place of PublicationAmsterdam Netherlands
Number of pages7
ISBN (Electronic)9780128140451
ISBN (Print)9780128140260
Publication statusPublished - 1 Jan 2018


  • Anthocyanin
  • Biosynthesis
  • Carotenoid
  • Chlorophyll
  • Climateric
  • Color
  • Colorant
  • Ethylene
  • Fruit
  • Non-climateric
  • Pigment
  • Respiration
  • Ripening

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