Betanin from red beet is a commonly used red food colorant. Betanin is approved for food applications by the European Union (E-162) and in the United States under Section 73.40 in the Title 21 of the Code of Federal Regulations (CFR) by the Food and Drug Administration (FDA) as natural red colorant in food products, pharmaceuticals and cosmetic.
Cactus pear pulp, which mainly contain indicaxanthin, has been encapsulated in microparticles as yogurt food colorant (DOI: 10.1016/j.lwt.2020.110672), in the same line gummy candies were enriched with betanin improving the stability and the nutritional profile of the candy (DOI: 10.1016/j.foodchem.2018.02.114). Red cactus pear extract (Opuntia stricta) was used instead of sodium nitrite (E-250) and cochineal (E-120) in the preparation of salami improving the microbiological stability (DOI: 10.1016/j.ijbiomac.2018.01.025). Moreover, the antioxidant capacity reported for these molecules can be used to improve the shelf-life of processed foods and drinks.