Iridoids are secondary metabolites produced by plants and some animals as a defense
mechanism against animals and insects. These are cyclopenta[c]pyrane containing monoterpenoids
presenting various pharmacological effects and have been used traditionally in Ayurveda and folk
medicine. Another interesting property of these chemical compounds is the production of colorants
on reacting with amino acids or amine containing reactants. They produce water soluble dyes among
which genipin producing blue dyes are widely studied and also used commercially. This article reviews
the potential of various iridoids to produce colorants, their presumed mechanism of reaction,
potential application efficiency and use of Computer aided drug design (CADD) studies for further
research with regards to dye interaction with fabric or receptor when administered internally.
Keywords: Amino acid, CADD, cyclopentanepyran, dyes, genipin, monoterpenoids.
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