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Betanin sources, health benefits and uses

Tuesday, October 17, 2017 by

Betanin, also known as betalain, is a natural food additive that gives a red color to food products. It is produced from beets. The word betalain was derived from the Latin name for the common beet Beta vulgaris, in which betalains were first extracted. Betanin, with an E number of E162, is classified on their structure and is divided into two groups — betacyanins and betaxanthins. The former group has a reddish-purple color, while the latter has yellow colors. Unlike the red pigment in other plants like strawberries, betanin does not have anthocyanins.

Betalain or betanin is commonly found in food sources such as beet root products, colored red swiss chard, amaranth, cactus fruits, and pitahaya.

It is used in coloring meat, ice cream, and beverages. Moreover, betanin is used as a colorant in cosmetic products and pharmaceuticals. Betanin is soluble in water and is stable between pH3.5 and 7.0. It is also susceptible towards light and temperature, which limits its use to fresh foods, foods packed under modified atmosphere, or foods that undergo no heat treatment.

On the other hand, dry betanin is more stable and is used in instant foods and powdered soft drinks as a food colorant. It is also stable in high-sugar conditions, which makes it useful in candies, fruit gels, and filings.

Medicinal uses for betanin

Betanin has several of medicinal uses in the body. Since betanin scavenges reactive oxygen species and exhibits gene regulatory activity, it may produce antioxidant effects that is beneficial for the body. Moreover, betanin can potentially prevent the oxidation of Low-density lipoprotein (LDL) oxidation and stops the damaging of DNA. In addition, betanin can possibly lower blood pressure.

Body systems supported by betanin

There are a few body systems or organs that can be supported by betanin. One of these is the cardiovascular system. Betalain contains soluble fibers that can reduce LDL or bad cholesterol levels in the bloods. The carotenoids and flavonoids it contains also contribute to the prevention of bad cholesterol from being deposited in the arteries. It also lessens the risk of blood clots as it protects the thin lining of the blood vessels. In turn, this helps decrease the inflammation that makes the blood sticky and leads to clots.

It is also beneficial to the brain. Betanin is found to protect cells from toxins, especially the brain cells. Moreover, it provides protection from toxins that may affect the liver. It is also beneficial for the body because it has potassium and magnesium, which are minerals needed in the body.

Where to learn more


Betanin or betalain is a natural food colorant that is mainly obtained from beets. It is commonly found in food sources such as beet root products, colored red swiss chard, amaranth, cactus fruits, and pitahaya. It is mostly used as a colorant in food products, cosmetics, and pharmaceuticals. It is beneficial for the brain, liver, and cardiovascular system.

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