Why does a strawberry look red
Aren’t we all besotted by the strawberry, the luscious, juicy fruit which has a stimulating aroma and delicious taste? There is one more appealing thing about strawberry, which is pleasure to our eyes-the ravishing, red color, especially when the fruit is ripe. The reason for the enticing color is due to a natural pigment present in strawberry known as anthocyanin.
Anthocyanin is a plant constituent that is found in stems, leaves, flowers and fruits. The pigment can be in various colors ranging from blue to red depending on the acidity in a particular area of the plant. This pigment can also be termed as a flavonoid which enhances the flavor of the fruit. Another reason for strawberry to bear its characteristic red color is due to the inherent quality of light.
Light, as we know, has bands of colors in it. These colors can be seen individually through a prism or in the natural phenomenon of a rainbow during the rain. Whenever light comes in contact with a surface, it is absorbed. However, not all of the colors are absorbed and some of them bounce back to our eye; this is the color that we see in a particular object.
One can thus, say that there are two elements that actually give strawberry its luscious red color-the natural pigment ‘anthocyanin’ and the way light reflects on the surface of the fruit. In case of strawberry, the red color is not absorbed and bounces back to our eye.
Did you know that mulch is also an instrumental factor in intensifying the red color characteristic in strawberry? Mulch is the protective cover of stale vegetable matters spread on the ground around plants to prevent problems like soil erosion, weed growth and evaporation. So, a scientific study has shown that instead of using black mulch, if red mulch as a fertilizer was used below the roots of the plant, the strawberries would turn red with a deep hue and richer aroma. It also showed that the red mulch has the ability to modify the gene expression in the strawberry plant in order to increase the quantity of compounds that intensify the taste and the characteristic red color in the fruit.