Mechanism behind the degradation of aqueous norbixin upon storage in light and dark environment

Anders Hauer Møller, Amita Jahangiri, Marianne Danielsen, Bjoern Madsen, Bjarne Joernsgaard, Signe Vaerbak, Marianne Hammershøj, Trine Kastrup Dalsgaard*

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journal/Conference contribution in journal/Contribution to newspaperJournal articleResearchpeer-review


Buffered aqueous solutions of norbixin were stored in light and dark, and analyzed using mass spectrometry. Compounds with both higher and lower masses than norbixin were detected, suggesting the formation of oxidation products and oxidative cleavage products of norbixin. The norbixin oxidation products included compounds containing several oxidations. The amounts of oxidation products of norbixin increased during storage in both light and dark, but in light, the development accelerated. Scavengers of superoxide radical anion (superoxide dismutase), hydrogen peroxide (catalase), hydroxyl radicals (mannitol) and singlet oxygen (sodium azide) and carbon-centered radicals (DMPO) were tested to determine if any of the reactive species were involved in the degradation of norbixin. Of these, only DMPO decreased the bleaching of norbixin indicating the involvement of carbon-centered radicals. Multiple oxidations of norbixin might be a result of a radical chain reaction involving peroxyl and carbon-centered radicals even though not detectable with electron spin resonance.

Original languageEnglish
Article number125967
JournalFood Chemistry
Number of pages8
Publication statusPublished - 25 Apr 2020


  • Carotenoid
  • DMPO
  • Norbixin
  • Norbixin (pubchem CID5281249)
  • Oxidation
  • Oxidation mechanism
  • Radicals


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