Beta carotene is the molecule that gives carrots their orange colour. It is part of a family of chemicals called the carotenoids, which are found in many fruit and vegetables, as well as some animal products such as egg yolks. Biologically, beta carotene is most important as the precursor of vitamin A. It also has anti-oxidant properties and may help in preventing cancer and other diseases. Beta Carotene is also known as a provitamin because it can be converted in our body into vitamin A after oxidative cleavage by beta carotene 15, 150-dioxygenase. In plants, beta carotene, acts as an anti-oxidant and neutralizes singlet oxygen radicals formed during photosynthesis.
Functions And Applications:
1. Beta Carotene can be used in medical field.
(1) Beta Carotene is recognized to have functions of anti-oxidation, caducity resistance, etc., and it can improve immunity of AIDS patients.
2. Beta Carotene can be used as food additive.
(1) Beta carotene is an important pigment and confirmed as nutritious food additive.
(2) Beta Carotene can be used as intensifying agent for lipid foods such as margarine salad oil and benne oil to help beta carotene absorption by human body.
3. Beta Carotene can be used in cosmetic field.
(1) Beta Carotene contains abundant amino acid, vitamin, natural wet factor, microelement and other bioactive substances. Cosmetics (lipstick, kermes, etc.) added with beta carotene present natural and full color and luster and protect skin.
4. Beta Carotene can be used as forage additive.
(1) Beta Carotene can improve growth rate and flesh quality of animals, reproductivity of cattle, horse and pig, color and luster of red fish and shrimp, and darken color of bird's egg.