Anthocyanin composition in black, blue, pink, purple, and red cereal grains

J Agric Food Chem. 2006 Jun 28;54(13):4696-704. doi: 10.1021/jf0606609.


Anthocyanin pigments from a wide variety of edible and ornamental black, blue, pink, purple, red, and white wheat, barley, corn, rice, and wild rice were identified and quantified to evaluate their potential as natural colorants or functional food ingredients. The total anthocyanin contents varied significantly and exhibited a range of 7-3276 microg/g. Some grains, such as red rice and black rice, contained a limited number of pigments, whereas others, such as blue, pink, purple, and red corns, had complex anthocyanin profiles. Of the 42 anthocyanin compounds observed, 9 were characterized by comparison of the spectroscopic and chromatographic properties with those of authentic standards. The remaining compounds were tentatively identified on the basis of spectroscopic properties and electrospray ionization mass spectra. The most abundant anthocyanins were cyanidin 3-glucoside in black and red rices and in blue, purple, and red corns, pelargonidin 3-glucoside in pink corn, and delphinidin 3-glucoside in blue wheat.

MeSH terms

  • Anthocyanins / analysis*
  • Chromatography, Liquid
  • Edible Grain / chemistry*
  • Hordeum / chemistry
  • Oryza / chemistry
  • Pigments, Biological / analysis*
  • Spectrometry, Mass, Electrospray Ionization
  • Triticum / chemistry
  • Zea mays / chemistry


  • Anthocyanins
  • Pigments, Biological