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E160ai - Beta-carotene

Additives: E160ai - Beta-carotene

Belongs to:

E160a - Alpha-carotene

Functions: Colour - Color

β-Carotene is an organic, strongly colored red-orange pigment abundant in 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.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. - Wikipedia

Risk of overexposure

EFSA evaluation: Safety of the proposed extension of use of synthetic Beta-carotene [E 160aii] in foods for special medical purposes in young children (2016-03-18)

- World