Biology Question #944

Avishan, a 27 year old female from the Internet asks on September 30, 2002,

Why is the strawberry in yogurt flavored strawberry sometimes brown or reddish brown? Is it a chemical reaction? What are the pigments involved?

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The answer

Barry Shell answered on September 30, 2002

The red pigment in strawberries is an anthocyanin. This kind of pigment changes color depending on the acid/base concentration of it's environment. It could be the acidity of the yoghurt that is causing the color change. It could also be a chemical reaction called oxidation that is causing the anthocyanin molecule to change in subtle ways which cause the color to be perceived as brown rather than red.

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