/kar"euh teen'/, n.any of three yellow or orange fat-soluble pigments having the formula C40H56, found in many plants, esp. carrots, and transformed to vitamin A in the liver; provitamin A.Also, carotin.[1860-65; < LL carot(a) CARROT + -ENE]
* * *Any of several organic compounds widely distributed in plants and animals.They are pigments that give orange, yellow, or sometimes red colours to, for example, dandelions, apricots, carrots, sweet potatoes, butter, egg yolks, canary feathers, and lobster shells. Carotenes are converted in the body into vitamin A, but, unlike the vitamin, they are not toxic even at high doses. Carotene has an antioxidant effect and is therefore used in pharmaceuticals and as a food and feed additive, as well as to colour margarine and butter.
* * *any of several organic compounds widely distributed as pigments in plants and animals and converted in the livers of many animals into vitamin A. These pigments are unsaturated hydrocarbons (having many double bonds), belonging to the isoprenoid series. Several isomeric forms (same formula but different molecular structures) are subsumed under the name.In plants, carotenes impart yellow, orange, or red colours to flowers (dandelion, marigold), fruits (pumpkin, apricot), and roots (carrot, sweet potato). In animals they are visible in fats (butter), egg yolks, feathers (canary), and shells (lobster).The most important provitamin (source of the vitamin) A is β-carotene, first isolated from carrots in 1910. Studies by several scientists culminated in its synthesis in 1950.
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