The main difference between anthocyanin and carotenoids is that anthocyanins are water soluble and responsible for red, blue, and purple colours of certain fruits, vegetables, and flowers, whereas carotenoids are lipid soluble and responsible for producing yellow, orange, and red colours in carrots, tomatoes, and pepper.
Pigments are chemical compounds that reflect certain wavelengths of light. Hence, pigments are of different colours. They give colours to flowers, vegetables, fruits, parts of plants, and parts of human and animal bodies. In fact, they can be produced naturally or artificially. Some common examples of pigments are anthocyanins, carotenoids, chlorophylls, melanin, and haemoglobin.
Key Areas Covered
Anthocyanin, Carotenoids, Pigments
What are Anthocyanins
Anthocyanins are pigments that give a red, blue, or purple colour to certain fruits, vegetables, and flowers. Anthocyanins are water-soluble pigments. They are also vacuolar pigments. Anthocyanins may give off colours like blue, purple, red, and black. Furthermore, they change colour according to the pH of the surrounding environment. When the pH of the medium is acidic, anthocyanin appears as a red pigment, whereas in a basic medium, anthocyanin appears blue. Anthocyanins are also good antioxidants, destroying free radicals that can damage the cells. Moreover, anthocyanins are derived from a class of molecules called flavonoids, which are synthesized via the phenylpropanoid pathway. These flavonoids help plant reproduction by attracting pollinators and protecting the plant from harmful conditions like cold, droughts, and ultraviolet rays.
Berries, especially black elderberries and aronia berries, contain the highest levels of anthocyanins. Strawberries, blueberries, blackberries, and raspberries also contain high levels of anthocyanins. Some other fruits that include anthocyanins are cherries, red grapes, black grapes, pomegranates, and black plums. Vegetables like purple eggplant (skin), red onions, red cabbage, and red radishes also contain these pigments. Meanwhile, black beans, black rice and black soybeans are legumes that contain anthocyanins.
Anthocyanins are associated with many health benefits. Anthocyanins lower blood pressure. They also reduce the risk of heart diseases, prevent neurological diseases, help improve and protect the brain, increase blood flow to areas in the brain that controls memory, attention, and language, and reduce the speed of growth of cancer.
What are Carotenoids
Carotenoids are lipid-soluble pigments that are red, yellow, or orange in colour. They exhibit antioxidant properties in humans. There are about 600 types of carotenoids. Some examples of carotenoids are zeaxanthin, lutein, alpha-carotene, beta-carotene, lycopene, and beta-cryptoxanthin. Since they are fat soluble, they are best absorbed with fats.
Carotenoids are present in plants, algae, and photosynthetic bacteria. Specifically, food like papaya, sweet yams, carrot, mangoes, spinach, tomatoes, bell pepper, and oranges contain carotenoids, which give them the characteristic yellow, orange, or red colour.
Carotenoids help plants absorb light energy for the process of photosynthesis. Carotenoids also have cancer-fighting properties. Additionally, they have anti-inflammatory properties and are beneficial for the immune system too. Carotenoids also have a role in the prevention of cardiovascular diseases. In the body, certain carotenoids are converted into vitamin A, which is a nutrient mandatory to maintain a healthy vision and overall growth and development.
Difference Between Anthocyanin and Carotenoids
Anthocyanins are water-soluble pigments responsible for the red, blue, and purple colours of certain fruits, vegetables, and flowers, whereas carotenoids are lipid-soluble pigments responsible for producing yellow, orange, and red colours in carrots, tomatoes, and pepper.
Solubility in Liquids
Anthocyanin is soluble in water, whereas carotenoids are soluble in lipids.
Anthocyanins may create colours like blue, purple, red, and black, while carotenoids create yellow, orange, and red colours.
Anthocyanins have a complex ring structure, while carotenoids have long chains of carbon atoms with double bonds.
Pigments are molecules that give colour to substances. There are different types of pigments, and anthocyanin and carotenoid are two of them. Anthocyanins are water-soluble pigments responsible for the red, blue, and purple colours of certain fruits, vegetables, and flowers, whereas carotenoids are lipid-soluble pigments responsible for producing yellow, orange and red colours in carrots, tomatoes, and pepper. So, this is the main difference between anthocyanin and carotenoids.