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Extraction, characterization & applications of natural dyes

Bushra Khan, Ramya Sindhyan, Anushi Divan, Sejal Rathod


Artificial dyes, widely used in everyday items, come with side effects not known to the common man. They are toxic, harmful & mostly carcinogenic. There has been a worldwide increase in the demand of natural dyes due to its therapeutic properties & no known side effects. The current research aimed at extracting dyes of different colors from natural plant sources, carrying out its characteristic analysis & its applications. The dyes were tested for their anti-microbial ability and were found to be inhibitory to common organisms like S. typhi, C. diphtheriae, S. aureus, etc. Phytochemical tests were performed and they confirmed presence of several important metabolites like Phenols, Tannins, Terpenoids, and many more. The dyes were tested for anti-oxidant activity using the FRAP assay and antioxidant levels ranging from 0.62 to 2.00 were obtained. Preparations of cosmetics like lip balms, was carried out, and dyes were also tested as natural food coloring agents. The results indicated that the dyes caused inhibition of wide range of bacteria and proved to be good sources of anti-oxidants. They departed a natural color to food items and hence can replace artificial food colorings. Thus the use of natural dyes should be promoted, as they are cheap, biodegradable and feasible.


natural dyes; antimicrobial; phytochemicals; anti-oxidant; cosmetics; food coloring

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