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Carotenoids in Marine Animals
Mar. Drugs 2011, 9(3), 319-333; doi:10.3390/md9030319

Marine Carotenoids: Biological Functions and Commercial Applications

1,* , 1
1 Algal Biotechnology Group, International Centre for Environmental Research (CIECEM), University of Huelva, 21760 Huelva, Spain 2 Faculty of Business, University of Huelva, Plaza de la Merced 11, 21071 Huelva, Spain 3 Plant Biochemistry and Molecular Biology Department, Faculty of Chemistry, University of Seville, 41012 Seville, Spain
* Author to whom correspondence should be addressed.
Received: 31 January 2011 / Revised: 15 February 2011 / Accepted: 17 February 2011 / Published: 3 March 2011
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Marine Carotenoids (Special Issue))
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Carotenoids are the most common pigments in nature and are synthesized by all photosynthetic organisms and fungi. Carotenoids are considered key molecules for life. Light capture, photosynthesis photoprotection, excess light dissipation and quenching of singlet oxygen are among key biological functions of carotenoids relevant for life on earth. Biological properties of carotenoids allow for a wide range of commercial applications. Indeed, recent interest in the carotenoids has been mainly for their nutraceutical properties. A large number of scientific studies have confirmed the benefits of carotenoids to health and their use for this purpose is growing rapidly. In addition, carotenoids have traditionally been used in food and animal feed for their color properties. Carotenoids are also known to improve consumer perception of quality; an example is the addition of carotenoids to fish feed to impart color to farmed salmon.
Keywords: carotenoids; microalgae; applications; nutraceuticals; health benefits carotenoids; microalgae; applications; nutraceuticals; health benefits
This is an open access article distributed under the Creative Commons Attribution License (CC BY) which permits unrestricted use, distribution, and reproduction in any medium, provided the original work is properly cited.

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Vílchez, C.; Forján, E.; Cuaresma, M.; Bédmar, F.; Garbayo, I.; Vega, J.M. Marine Carotenoids: Biological Functions and Commercial Applications. Mar. Drugs 2011, 9, 319-333.

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