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Molecular Formula:  C40H52O2

Molecular Weight:  564.84

CAS Registry Number:  514-78-3

EINECS:  208-187-2

Canthaxanthin  is a carotenoid pigment widely distributed in nature. Carotenoids belong to a larger class of phytochemicals known as terpenoids. The chemical formula of canthaxanthin is C40H52O2. It has E number E161g.

It was first isolated in edible mushrooms. It has also been found in green algae, bacteria, crustaceans, and fish such as carp, golden mullet, seabream and trush wrasse.

In the United Kingdom, canthaxanthin is allowed by law to be added to poultry feed, some sausages mainly exported to France, and trout and salmon feed.[3] In addition, the European Union has set the limit at 80 mg/kg of foodstuffing.

Canthaxanthin is widely used and generally recognized as safe (GRAS) for use as a food color additive. Extensively used in commercial food products like ketchup, Ocean Spray cranberry juice, etc. 30mg per 16 ounces of food or liquid ingested is the suggested dosage. Research does show that carotenoid supplements are not as well absorbed when taken alone on an empty stomach.

Product name Canthaxanthin
Molar mass 564.84 g mol−1
Appearance Violet crystals
Melting point 217 °C (decomposition)



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