> Sub-Group: Carotenoids
Carotenoids are natural pigments found in both plants and animals. In plants and in some organisms, carotenoids are naturally occurring /produced, whereas in animals (humans included) they have to be obtained from foods.
In plants, they are the plant pigments that give them their colors, odors and taste.
Green in Algae
Colors in Fruits and Vegetables
Red in Prawns
Red in Flamingo
They can be split into 2 classes – mainly based on their molecular make-up:
o which contain oxygen
o mainly responsible for yellow pigments of the plants
o Fat soluble
o which are purely hydrocarbons, and contain no oxygen
o mainly responsible for orange pigments of the plants
o Fat Soluble
There are about 700 known carotenoids today but only 60 are found in food - each is a different nutrient. In general, the richer/deeper the color, the higher the levels of carotenoids.
Examples of Carotenoids:
Fat or Water Soluble Antioxidant:
Other functions besides being an antioxidant:
Although in general they have antioxidants characteristics, they, however, offer different health functions, such as :
Hence, it is advisable to eat foods of the different colors of the rainbow.
Examples of food rich in Carotenoids :
Types of Antioxidants >
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