Improving the water solubility of Monascus pigments under acidic conditions with gum arabic

Wenjie Jian, Yuanming Sun, Jianyong Wu

Research output: Journal article publicationJournal articleAcademic researchpeer-review

15 Citations (Scopus)


This study aimed to evaluate the use of gum arabic (GA) as a stabilizer for maintaining the solubility of Mps in an acidic aqueous solution exposed to a high temperature, and to analyze the molecular interactions between GA and Mps. RESULTS: Mps dispersed (0.2 g kg−1) in deionized water at pH 3.0–4.0 without GA formed precipitates but remained in a stable solution in the presence of GA (1 g kg−1). The significant improvement of Mps water solubility under acidic conditions was attributed to the formation of Mps–GA complexes, as indicated by a sharp increase in the fluorescence intensity. The results on particle size, zeta potential, and transmission electron microscopy further suggested that molecular binding of Mps to GA, electrostatic repulsion, and steric hindrance of GA were contributing factors to preventing the aggregation of Mps in acidic solutions. A mechanistic model was presented for GA–Mps interactions and complex structures. CONCLUSION: GA was proven to be an effective stabilizer of natural food colorants in acidic solutions.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)2926-2933
Number of pages8
JournalJournal of the Science of Food and Agriculture
Issue number9
Publication statusPublished - 1 Jul 2017


  • acidic pH
  • gum arabic
  • high temperature
  • natural pigments
  • solution stability

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Biotechnology
  • Food Science
  • Agronomy and Crop Science
  • Nutrition and Dietetics


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