Natural Food Colorants From Tulip Petals

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Arıcı M., Sağdıç O., Metin Yıldırım R., Karaagacli M.

Uluslararası Mezopotamya Tarım Kongresi , Diyarbakır, Turkey, 22 - 25 September 2014, pp.1111

  • Publication Type: Conference Paper / Summary Text
  • City: Diyarbakır
  • Country: Turkey
  • Page Numbers: pp.1111
  • Yıldız Technical University Affiliated: Yes


There is an increased tendency in the market that consumers prefer colorants of natural origin. About 2/3 of food colorant market which reach 940 million dollar trading volume is presumed that it belongs to natural food colorant. Because the artificial colorants are forbidden for toxicological or ecological reasons and depending on the changing consumer preference, natural colorants share in market increase in proportion to 4-6%. Natural colorants have bioactive properties as well as their functionality of colouring. The study of natural colorants is an extensive and active area of investigation due to the growing interest of substituting synthetic colorants. 

Anthocyanins are pigments that are widely distributed in plant species, especially flower petals and fruits. It is possible that tulip petals which can change color from purple to bordeaux and red can be used as natural colorant due to contain high amount of anthocyanin. The genus Tulipa is a represented by 16 taxa (15 species), and two of them are endemic in Turkey. Tulip productivity is gradually developing in our country and approximately 45 million pieces of tulip bulb are produced per year. Production of tulip begins tulip bulp which is growed in previous year. In order to occur stronger tulip bulbs, flowers that grow first are cut and after cutting they emerge as a waste. According to study of waste tulip flowers’ bioactive properties (Sagdic et al., 2013), toxicity results revealed that color materials obtained from red, pink and violet tulip flowers can be potentially used as coloring agents to be alternative to synthetic agents in food and pharmacology industries. Tulip flowers is dried and ground in room temperature. Food colorant is produced after extraction and evaporation. That tulip flowers are used as a resource of colorant enable the tulip wastes to convert into important natural raw material, as well as our country gets a share of food colorant market whose trade volume has endured one million dollar.