Are Autumn Leaves the Next Source of Natural Color?
Finnish Researchers may have found a new use for colorful autumn leaves that fall and dry on the ground at this time of year–by extracting the natural compounds and using them as food coloring, preservatives and nutritional supplements.
Nordic research and technology company, VTT Technical Research Centre of Finland says that natural pigments and useful raw material from the autumn leaves can be transformed into use for the food industry, as well as feed, textiles, and cosmetics.
Autumn leaves derive their color from orange and yellow carotenoids and red anthocyanins. In addition to pigments, autumn leaves contain many beneficial compounds, such as phenols, lignin, carbohydrates and protein.
There is a fast-growing need for natural pigments in various industries around the world, and these natural pigments can even have health-promoting effects such as nutraceuticals, according to VTT.