Mónica L. Chávez-González, Karla Aguilar-Herrera, Nagamani Balagurusamy, Ayerim Hernández-Almanza
Pigments have been used since ancient times to confer color on foods, with the aim to determinate the acceptance and enhance the acceptability of food products. Most pigments used as food additives are obtained synthetically, but the application of synthetic pigments is a great concern due to reports that showed toxic, carcinogenic, and mutagenic effects to vital organs in experimental animals. Also, the use of some synthetic pigments in food, pharmaceutical, and cosmetic industries has been restricted due to the side effects in human health. Consumers are opting to purchase natural products today that are free of chemical substances. Microbial pigment production has proven to be a viable alternative for obtaining colors as a food additive. However, regulation and optimization in its process are necessary. In this chapter, we describe the classification of pigments and their use in different industries.