Anthocyanin food colorant and its application in pH-responsive color change indicator films

Swarup Roy, Jong Whan Rhim

Research output: Contribution to journalReview articlepeer-review

25 Citations (Scopus)


Recently, interest in smart packaging, which can show the color change of the packaging film according to the state of the food and evaluate the quality or freshness of the packaged food in real-time, is increasing. As a color indicator, a natural colorant, anthocyanin, drew a lot of attention due to their various colors as well as useful functions properties such as antioxidant activity and anti-carcinogenic and anti-inflammatory effects, prevention of cardiovascular disease, obesity, and diabetes. In particular, the pH-responsive color-changing function of anthocyanins is useful for making color indicator smart packaging films. This review addressed the latest information on the use of natural pigment anthocyanins for intelligent and active food packaging applications. Recent studies on eco-friendly biodegradable polymer-based color indicator films incorporated with anthocyanins have been addressed. Also, studies on the use of smart packaging films to monitor the freshness of foods such as milk, meat, and fish were reviewed. This review highlights the potential and challenges for the use of anthocyanins as pH-responsive color-changing films for intelligent food packaging applications, which may be beneficial for further development of smart color indicator films for practical use.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)2297-2325
Number of pages29
JournalCritical Reviews in Food Science and Nutrition
Issue number14
Publication statusPublished - 2021


  • Anthocyanin
  • biopolymer film
  • color indicator
  • natural colorant
  • pH-responsive
  • smart food packaging


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