Marine Carotenoids: Biological Functions and Commercial Applications

C. Vilchez, E. Forján, M. Cuaresma, F. Bédmar, I. Garbayo, J.M. Vega

Research output: Contribution to journalArticleAcademicpeer-review

230 Citations (Scopus)


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.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)319-333
JournalMarine Drugs
Issue number3
Publication statusPublished - 2011


  • helicobacter-pylori infection
  • long-term supplementation
  • coronary-heart-disease
  • beta-carotene
  • cardiovascular-disease
  • macular degeneration
  • alpha-tocopherol
  • vitamin-e
  • myocardial-infarction
  • lipid-peroxidation


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