Carotenoids Research Paper

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Carotenoids are a family of pigmented compounds that are synthesized by plants and microorganisms Carotenoids are a family of pigmented compounds that are synthesized by plants and microorganisms but not animals. In plants, they contribute to the photosynthetic machinery and protect them against photo-damage (Rao and Rao, 2007). Carotenoids are synthesized de novo not only in all photosynthetic organisms, such as plants (including algae) and cyanobacteria but also in some non-photosynthetic bacteria and fungi (Lu and Li, 2008). It is estimated that nature produces about 100 million tons of carotenoids annually (Rodriguez-Amaya, 1997). Carotenoids represent a diverse group of pigments widely distributed in nature. They contribute to the red,…show more content…
This produced the parent C40 carbon skeleton from which all the individual variations are derived (Britton, 1995). Carotenoids are hydrophobic, lipophilic substances, and are virtually insoluble in water. They dissolve in fat solvents such as acetone, alcohol, ethyl ether, tetrahydrofuran, and chloroform. Carotenes are readily soluble in petroleum ether and hexane. Xanthophylls dissolve best in methanol and ethanol. In plants and animals, carotenoids occur as crystals or amorphous solids, in solution in lipid media, in colloidal dispersion, or combined with protein in an aqueous phase (Rodriguez-Amaya,…show more content…
Synthetic astaxanthin and canthaxanthin are chemically identical to the naturally occurring compounds in aquatic animals. Pigmentation strength of canthaxanthin is only half of that of astaxanthin (Hertrampf and Piedad-Pascual, 2000).
Carotenoid synthesis is a highly regulated‚ integral part of chloroplast biogenesis and is intimately associated with the synthesis of other chloroplast components (i.e. lipids‚ proteins and chlorophylls). The major stimulus for carotenoid synthesis in greening leaf tissue is light (Oelmuller and Mohr‚1985)‚ however‚ some xanthophylls are also present in substantial amounts in etiolated tissues (Grumbach and Lichtenthaler‚ 1982)‚ indicating a large portion of the pathway is operational in the absence of light (Frank et al,

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