β-Carotene (beta-carotene) is an organic, strongly coloured red-orange pigment abundant in fungi, plants, and fruits. It is a member of the carotenes, which are terpenoids (isoprenoids), synthesized biochemically from eight isoprene units and thus having 40 carbons. Among the carotenes, β-carotene is distinguished by having beta-rings at both ends of the molecule. β-Carotene is biosynthesized from geranylgeranyl pyrophosphate.GET A QUOTE
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1.What Is Beta-carotene?
In some Mucoralean fungi, β-carotene is a precursor to the synthesis of trisporic acid.
β-carotene is the most common form of carotene in plants. When used as a food coloring, it has the E number E160a. The structure was deduced by Karrer et al. in 1930. In nature, β-carotene is a precursor (inactive form) to vitamin A via the action of beta-carotene 15,15'-monooxygenase.
Isolation of β-carotene from fruits abundant in carotenoids is commonly done using column chromatography. It can also be extracted from the beta-carotene rich algae, Dunaliella salina. The separation of β-carotene from the mixture of other carotenoids is based on the polarity of a compound. β-Carotene is a non-polar compound, so it is separated with a non-polar solvent such as hexane. Being highly conjugated, it is deeply colored, and as a hydrocarbon lacking functional groups, it is very lipophilic.
2.How Beta-carotene Works
Carotenoids are types of natural chemical compounds created by plants that help give them their bright yellow, orange or red pigments. There are more than 600 different carotenoids in existence, but several of the most well-known include: α-carotene, β-carotene, β-cryptoxanthin, lycopene, lutein and zeaxanthin.
β-carotene is type of “provitamin A” compounds. This means they’re converted in the body once we eat foods that contain them in order to synthesize vitamin A, which is also sometimes called retinol. Contrary to popular belief, not all carotenoid-containing foods supply us with vitamin A. That’s because lutein, zeaxanthin and lycopene have no vitamin A activity once consumed.
3.Benefits and Uses
1. Eye and Vision Health
2. Promoting Healthy Growth and Development
3. Lowering Inflammation
4. Boosting Immunity
5. Protects the Skin from Damage