Examining safety of biocolourants from fungal and plant Sources - examples from Cortinarius and Tapinella, Salix and Tanacetum spp. and dyed woollen fabrics

Riikka Räisänen, Anja Primetta, Sari Nikunen, Ulla Honkalampi, Heli Nygren, Juha-Matti Pihlava, Ina Vanden Berghe, Atte von Wright

Research output: Contribution to journalArticleScientificpeer-review


Biocolourants have been investigated as alternatives to synthetic dyes. However, natural origin per se is not a label of harmlessness and research is needed to obtain safe dyes. We studied the cytotoxicity of the extracts from fungal (Cortinarius semisanguineus, Tapinella atrotomentosa) and plant (Tanacetum vulgare, Salix phylicifolia) sources and the woollen fabrics dyed with the extracts. Cytotoxicity in vitro using hepa-1 mouse hepatoma cells for 24 h and 72 h exposure was observed as the highest tolerated dose. All biocolourants produced intensive colour on fabrics with fastness properties from moderate to good. The Salix and Cortinarius samples did not show any cytotoxic effects, whereas the Tanacetum and Tapinella samples had slightly higher test values but were not interpreted as being significantly toxic. Higher than zero values of the undyed fabrics showed the importance of examining their toxicity as well. It was found that the cytotoxicity of the samples dyed with the biocolourants did not differ significantly from the undyed wool fabric. The concentrations of dyes used in the assays were very low, imitating the dose of the user. In addition to colouring properties, natural dyes may have pharmaceutical and antibacterial properties which would enhance the interest in using them in products for added value.
Original languageEnglish
Article number266
Issue number5
Number of pages25
Publication statusPublished - 20 May 2020
MoE publication typeA1 Journal article-refereed

Fields of Science

  • 11831 Plant biology
  • natural dye
  • biocolourant
  • secondary metabolite
  • in vitro
  • cytotoxicity
  • mouse hepatoma cell
  • highest tolerated dose
  • safety assessment
  • textile dyes
  • flavonoids
  • Tanacetum vulgare L
  • genus Cortinarius
  • anthraquinones
  • genus Tanacetum
  • genus Salix
  • genus Tapinella
  • 116 Chemical sciences
  • HPLC analysis
  • UV/Vis-MS
  • 222 Other engineering and technologies
  • textiles

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