Natural Colors from Avocado Seeds

Academics at Penn State University are seeking to commercialize water-soluble yellow, orange and red colors derived from avocado seeds (pits), which they claim offer cost and stability advantages over natural colors currently on the market. The work is led by Dr Gregory Ziegler , professor of food science at Penn State, who says he had a Eureka! moment several years ago when he was grinding down avocado seeds in order to extract starch and saw a “brilliant orange color” materialize via enzymatic reactions occurring as a result of the grinding process. Instead of turning brown once exposed to oxygen, as many fruits and vegetables do as a result of the enzyme polyphenol oxidase or PPO, the avocado pits turn orange, but then stop changing color.

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