Color is one of the most important organoleptic properties of food which can influence  on consumer preference. Due to health awareness, there is an increasing demand for  natural food colorant over synthetic counterparts. Butterfly pea (Clitoria ternatea)  flower is remarkable as one of the most vital anthocyanin sources that gives  characteristic blue color. Present research study focused on the identification of a best  method to extract anthocyanin from Clitoria ternatea flower without destroying its  functional properties. Accordingly, 3 methods: direct extraction (T1), blanching  extraction (T2) and blanching extraction with addition of natural preservative (T3) were  selected to extract anthocyanin from C. ternatea flower. The functional properties were  assessed using standard methods. The sensory evaluation was carried out to assess the  color, taste, aroma and overall acceptability using a nine-point hedonic scale. Food  colorant extracted from T2 had higher flavonoid content (173.97 ± 7.8 mg/L) and total  anthocyanin content (67.6 ± 29 mg/L) compare to the other two treatments. However,  sample from T1 contained strong antioxidant properties since it had the least IC50  (44.14 ± 2.9 %) while showing highest phenolic content (48.49 ± 4.0 mg/L). Out of the  three treatments, food colorant from T3 had higher color stability, higher shelf life (28  ± 2 days) and was highly accepted in terms of overall acceptability and color by sensory  panelists. Therefore, it could conclude that food colorant gel from T3 is the best  alternative for artificial blue colorants which is a natural extract without any health  concerns.

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