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Physicochemical Characterization, Stability and Cytotoxicity of a Blue Dye Obtained from Genipap Fruit (Genipa americana L.)

Camila Verly de Miranda Sabino1orcid tiny, Bárbara Janaína Paula da Silva1orcid tiny, Danielle Lima Bezerra de Menezes2orcid tiny, Felipe Moura Araújo da Silva3orcid tiny, Tatiane Pereira de Souza1orcid tiny, Hector Henrique Ferreira Koolen4orcid tiny, Ádley Antonini Neves de Lima2orcid tiny and Emerson Silva Lima1*orcid tiny

1Faculty of Pharmaceutical Sciences, Federal University of Amazonas, Av. Gen. Rodrigo Otavio, 6200, CEP 69077-000, Manaus, AM, Brazil

2Faculty of Pharmacy, Federal University of Rio Grande do Norte, Av. Sen. Salgado Filho, 3000, CEP 59078-970, Natal, RN, Brazil

3Institute of Exact Sciences, Federal University of Amazonas, Av. Gen. Rodrigo Otavio, 6200, CEP 69077-000, Manaus, AM, Brazil

4Metabolomics and Mass Spectrometry Research Group, University of Amazon State, Av. Carvalho Leal, 1777, CEP 69050-010, Manaus, AM, Brazil

Article history:

Received: 20 May 2020

Accepted: 4 March 2021

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Key words:

Genipa americana, genipap fruit, natural dye, geniposide


Research background. The current commercial scenario indicates an increase in the demand for natural dyes. Compared to synthetic dyes, natural ones have the advantage of being sustainable, making them of great interest for the food and cosmetic industries. The development of new natural dyes is necessary, as well as the carrying out of complementary research regarding the existing ones. 

Experimental approach. The present study aims to characterize the physicochemical and biological characteristics of the dye obtained from dehydrated endocarp of the genipap (Genipa americana) fruit, as well as perform the relevant stability and cytotoxicity tests. The chemical characterization was performed by HPLC-MS/MS analyses. The stability studies were carried out by spectrophotometry and cytotoxicity assays using cell culture and fluorometric methods.

Results and conclusions. After dehydration and milling of the fruit endocarp, water was added to the obtained powder (in the ratio 4:1) to extract the dye. HPLC-MS/MS elucidated five compounds and confirmed the presence of the geniposide as its main compound. With the X-ray diffraction and electron microscopy analysis, we characterised the obtained powder as being amorphous and of porous structure with a variable size. The thermogravimetric analysis indicated a maximum loss of 61 % mass after exposure to a temperature range from 240 to 760 °C. The obtained blue dye was stable in the absence of light, at room temperature and had neutral pH. In the cytotoxicity assay, (95.0±1.3) % of viable human fibroblast were observed after exposure to this dye. The genipap fruit can be a viable alternative to produce a natural blue dye, since it is easy to obtain and has very low toxicity in food, pharmaceutical or cosmetic products.

Novelty and scientific contribution. This study demonstrates for the first time the physicochemical and biological properties of a natural blue dye from G. americana fruit.

*Corresponding author: +5592988177360

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