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Reported herein is the purification of the pigment of black sturgeon caviar and its unambiguous identification as a typical eumelanin by means of chemical degradation coupled with electron paramagnetic resonance (EPR) evidence. HPLC and LC-MS analysis of oxidative degradation mixtures revealed the formation of pyrrole-2,3,5-tricarboxylic acid (PTCA), a specific marker of eumelanin pigments, in yields compatible with a 6.5% w/w pigment content. EPR spectral features and parameters were in close agreement with those reported for a typical natural eumelanin such as Sepia melanin from squid ink. The identification for the first time of eumelanin in a fish roe is expected to provide a novel molecular basis for the valorization of black caviar and production wastes thereof in food chemistry and diet. Copyright © 2021 Elsevier Ltd. All rights reserved.


Lucia Panzella, Kenneth Benning, Darren N Nesbeth, Brunella Setaro, Gerardino D'Errico, Alessandra Napolitano, Marco d'Ischia. Identification of black sturgeon caviar pigment as eumelanin. Food chemistry. 2022 Mar 30;373(Pt B):131474

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PMID: 34731814

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