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Influence of genetic background on anthocyanin and copigment composition and behavior during thermoalkaline processing of maize

Amy Collison, Liyi Yang, Linda Dykes, Seth Murray, Joseph M. Awika
Journal of agricultural and food chemistry 2015 v.63 no.22 pp. 5528-5538
Zea mays, amides, anthocyanins, color, corn, food processing quality, genetic background, genetic improvement, hybrids, nixtamalization, phenolic compounds, putrescine, spermidine, tortillas
Visual color is a primary quality factor for foods purchase; identifying factors that influence in situ color quality of pigmented maize during processing is important. Twenty-four genetically distinct pigmented maize hybrids (red/blue, blue, red, and purple) were used to investigate the effect of pigment and copigment composition on color stability during nixtamalization and tortilla chip processing. The red/blue and blue samples generally contained higher proportions of acylated anthocyanins (mainly cyanidin-3-(6″-malonylglucoside)) than the red and purple color classes. Phenolic amides were the major extractable copigments in all samples (450-764 μg/g), with red samples containing the most putrescines and blue samples containing the most spermidines. Even though samples with higher proportions of acylated anthocyanins retained more pigments during processing, this did not relate to final product color quality. In general, the red/blue samples retained their color quality the best and thus are good candidates for genetic improvement for direct processing into alkalized products.