In nature, blue is a rare pigment, or colored substance. But scientists in Brazil recently created a new blue hue from natural sources. The secret ingredient is . . . beets!
Beets are root vegetables that contain a brilliant red pigment. Erick Bastos, a pigment researcher at the University of São Paulo, wanted to try to turn this pigment into other colors. He mixed it with several substances. That triggered a chemical reaction that turned the red pigment into a blue one!
The new pigment, called BeetBlue, can dye fabric and human hair. Unlike other blue pigments, it’s nontoxic. Next, Bastos plans to study if BeetBlue is safe to eat. If it is, then it could be used to dye food!