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Structural formula
Structural formula of betanin
Surname Betanin
other names
  • Betanoin
  • Beetroot
  • E  162
Molecular formula C 24 H 26 N 2 O 13
External identifiers / databases
CAS number 7659-95-2
EC number 231-628-5
ECHA InfoCard 100,028,753
PubChem 11953901
ChemSpider 21106496
Wikidata Q420138
Molar mass 550.47 g mol −1

very good in water

safety instructions
GHS labeling of hazardous substances
no GHS pictograms
H and P phrases H: no H-phrases
P: no P-phrases
As far as possible and customary, SI units are used. Unless otherwise noted, the data given apply to standard conditions .

Betanin (also betanoin , beetroot or colloquially beetroot ) is a naturally occurring red dye .


Beetroot ( Beta vulgaris )

The dye is mainly found in the beetroot ( Beta vulgaris ), but also in the flowers and fruits of other plants. Betanin belongs to the group of betalaine and their subgroup of betacyans .

Properties and use

The glycoside betanin is a water-soluble dye that is sensitive to light and heat. The color of a solution of the compound in water depends on the pH value and can therefore serve as a pH indicator : In a strongly acidic pH up to 2 the solution is purple; at pH 4 the color changes to red. In the strongly basic range, the color changes to yellowish-brown with hydrolysis of the glycosidic bond . This creates the aglycon betanidin and glucose .

Betanin is approved as a food additive under the designation "E 162" and is used as a food coloring for fruit preparations and jellies, dairy products ( yoghurt ), sauces, sweets ( chewing gum , ice cream ), condiments ( vinegar ), jams , breakfast cereals and the like. a. Food used. Betanin has almost no potential as an allergenic substance .


The first separation, crystallization and structural analysis of betanine was reported in 1957 by Hugo Wyler and André Dreiding . Earlier attempts at structure elucidation, among others by Robert Robinson , had been unsuccessful.

Individual evidence

  1. ^ Entry on E 162: Beetroot Red, betanin in the European database for food additives, accessed on June 16, 2020.
  2. a b betanin . In: Lexikon der Biochemie , Spektrum Akademischer Verlag, Heidelberg, 1999.
  3. Template: CL Inventory / not harmonized There is not yet a harmonized classification for this substance . A label of [S- (R *, R *)] - 4- [2- [2-carboxy-5- (β-D-glucopyranosyloxy) -2,3-dihydro-6] is shown, which is derived from a self-classification by the distributor -hydroxy-1H-indol-1-yl] vinyl] -2,3-dihydropyridine-2,6-dicarboxylic acid in the Classification and Labeling Inventory of the European Chemicals Agency (ECHA), accessed on July 19, 2019.
  4. Entry on Betalaine. In: Römpp Online . Georg Thieme Verlag, accessed on August 10, 2011.
  5. ^ A b Dean D. Metcalfe, Hugh A. Sampson, Ronald A. Simon: Food Allergy: Adverse Reactions to Foods and Food Additives. 4th edition, Blackwell Publishing, 2009, ISBN 978-1-4051-5129-0 , p. 416.
  6. H. Wyler, AS Dreiding: Crystallized betanin. Preliminary communication . In: Helvetica Chimica Acta . tape 40 , no. 1 , 1957, pp. 191–192 , doi : 10.1002 / hlca.19570400122 .
  7. The secret of the red dye in beets and cacti (page 15) .