Anthocyanin composition in the berries of Laurus nobilis L., a perennial tree or shrub typical of the Mediterranean region, was determined for the first time. The pigments were extracted from the berries with 0.1% HCl in methanol, purified on a C-18 solid-phase cartridge, and characterized by means of high-performance liquid chromatography (HPLC)-diode array detection (DAD)-mass spectrometry (MS) analysis. The major anthocyanins were characterized as cyanidin 3-O-glucoside (41%) and cyanidin 3-O-rutinoside (53%). Furthermore, two minor anthocyanins were detected and identified as 3-O-glucoside and 3-O-rutinoside derivatives of peonidin (5%). The two major pigments were also isolated by preparative HPLC and characterized by H1 nuclear magnetic resonance (NMR) spectroscopy. The attractive color and the great abundance of the plant in the south of Italy make Laurus nobilis berries a new and very good source of natural pigments.
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