Exploring fungal biodiversity for the production of water-soluble pigments as potential natural food colorants: Fungi as a source of natural food colorants

Sameer Shamsuddin Mapari, Kristian Fog Nielsen, Thomas Ostenfeld Larsen, Jens Christian Frisvad, Anne S. Meyer, Ulf Thrane

    Research output: Contribution to journalJournal articleResearchpeer-review

    Abstract

    The production of many currently authorized natural food colorants has a number of disadvantages, including a dependence on the supply of raw materials and variations in pigment extraction. Fungi provide a readily available alternative source of naturally derived food colorants that could easily be produced in high yields. The recent authorization of a fungal food colorant has fuelled research to explore the extraordinary chemical diversity and biodiversity of fungi for the biotechnological production of pigments as natural food colorants. These studies require an appropriate use of chernotaxonomic tools and a priori knowledge of fungal metabolites to carry out intelligent screening for known or novel colorants as lead compounds. Such screening would result in the preselection of some potential pigment producers and the deselection of pathogenic strains and toxin producers. With advances in gene technology, in the future it should be possible to employ metabolic engineering to create microbial cell factories for the production of food colorants.
    Original languageEnglish
    JournalCurrent Opinion in Biotechnology
    Volume16
    Issue number2
    Pages (from-to)231-238
    ISSN0958-1669
    DOIs
    Publication statusPublished - 2005

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