Butterfly Pea (Clitoria ternatea) Flower Extract (BPFE) and Its Use as a pH-Dependent Natural Colorant
photo of three vials of translucent colored liquid demonstrating coloration by BPFE extract at normal pH (blue), lowered pH (green), and raised pH (purple)
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Natural Colorant
Butterfly Pea
Clitoria ternatea

How to Cite

Campbell, Sean Michael, Brian Pearson, and Stephen Christoper Marble. 2019. “Butterfly Pea (Clitoria Ternatea) Flower Extract (BPFE) and Its Use As a PH-Dependent Natural Colorant: (ENH-1309/EP573, 4/2019)”. EDIS 2019 (2). Gainesville, FL. https://doi.org/10.32473/edis-ep573-2019.


Butterfly pea (Clitoria ternatea), a twining vine native to Southeast Asia, produces deep blue to purple flowers that bloom nearly year-round in ideal conditions. When extracted in a liquid, the addition of a mild acid such as lemon or lime juice turns the naturally deep blue to purple color into a much lighter pink or purple color, giving the extract its color-changing ability. This new 5-page publication of the UF/IFAS Environmental Horticulture Department outlines the use of butterfly pea flower extract (BPFE) as a pH-dependent natural colorant, including an explanation of the science behind the color change, detailed parameters for flower extraction, instructions for storage and processing of the extract as well as a discussion of some of the other benefits of using BPFE. 

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