Determination of Anthocyanins in Ruscus aculeatus L. Berries
Red berries of Ruscus aculeatus L., a wild shrub typical of Mediterranean Europe and Africa, were investigated for the first time in order to determine the profile of anthocyanins. The pigments were extracted from the skins of the berries with 0.1% HCl in methanol, purified using a C-18 solid phase cartridge, and identified by means of high-performance liquid chromatography (HPLC)-diode array detection-mass spectrometry analysis. Information from HPLC profiles, saponification, and acid hydrolysis of the anthocyanins showed that the major anthocyanins were pelargonidin 3-O-rutinoside (64%), pelargonidin 3-O-glucoside (16%), and pelargonidin 3-O-trans-p-coumarylglucoside (13%). The attractive color of R. aculeatus berries and the great abundance of the plant in the south of Italy make these berries a new and promising source of natural colorants.
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