Description of Astaxanthin :
Astaxanthin is found in microalgae,yeast,salmon,trout,krill,shrimp,crayfish,crustaceans, and the feathers of some birds. It provides the redcolor of salmon meat and the red color of cooked shellfish.Astaxanthin is a keto-carotenoid.
It belongs to a larger class of chemical compounds known asterpenes, which are built from five carbon precursors; isopentenyl diphosphate and dimethylallyl diphosphate. Astaxanthin is classified as axanthophyll, but currently employed to describe carotenoid compounds that have oxygen-containing moities,hydroxyl (OH) or ketone (C=O), such as zeaxanthinand canthaxanthin. Indeed, astaxanthin is a metabolite of zeaxanthin and/or canthaxanthin, containing both hydroxyl and ketone functional groups. Like many carotenoids, astaxanthin is a colorful,lipid-soluble pigment. This colour is due to the extended chain of conjugated (alternating double and single) double bonds at the centre of the compound. This chain of conjugated double bonds is also responsible for the antioxidant function of
astaxanthin (as well as other carotenoids) as it results in a region of decentralized electrons that can be donated to reduce a reactive oxidizing molecule.
While astaxanthin is a natural dietary component, it can also be used as a food supplement. The supplement is intended for human, animal, and aquacultureconsumption. The commercial production of astaxanthin comes from both natural and synthetic sources.
The U.S. Food and Drug Administration(FDA) has approved astaxanthin as a food coloring(or color additive) for specific uses in animal and fish foods.The European Commissionconsiders it food dyeand it is given the E number.
Applications of Astaxanthin :
Dietary supplement, Medicine, Cosmetics, Food Additives
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