Carotenoid compounds: properties, production, and applications


Víctor Navarro-Macías1, Ayerim Hernández-Almanza1, Janeth Ventura2, Mónica L. Chávez-González1, Daniel Boone-Villa3, José Luis Martínez1, Júlio César Montañez1, and Cristóbal N. Aguilar1.

Carotenoids are compounds of lipophilic nature, consisting of 40 carbon molecules. Carotenoids are important compounds in the cosmetic alimentary and pharmaceutical industry for its various applications such as colorants. The demand for carotenoids is increasing not only because they are natural colorants, but also for its antioxidant activity that helps to prevent cardiovascular diseases, age-related macular degeneration, multiple sclerosis and some types of cancer. Carotenoids are found in a large number of natural products, such as fruits, vegetables, and seafood. Although the highest production of carotenoids is obtained from plants, several studies show that an alternative to satisfy the demand in the market, is the production of carotenoids from microorganisms.