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Pages in category "Food colorings"
The following 74 pages are in this category, out of 74 total. This list may not reflect recent changes (learn more).
|Wikimedia Commons has media related to Food colorings.|
The following 74 pages are in this category, out of 74 total. This list may not reflect recent changes (learn more).
1. Food coloring – Food coloring, or color additive, is any dye, pigment or substance that imparts color when it is added to food or drink. They come in many forms consisting of liquids, powders, gels, Food coloring is used both in commercial food production and in domestic cooking. Food colorants are used in a variety of non-food applications including cosmetics, pharmaceuticals, home craft projects. People associate certain colors with certain flavors, and the color of food can influence the flavor in anything from candy to wine. During the Middle Ages, the economy in the European countries was based on agriculture, under feudalism, aesthetic aspects were not considered, at least not by the vast majority of the generally very poor population. This situation changed with urbanization at the beginning of the Modern Age, one of the very first food laws, created in Augsburg, Germany, in 1531, concerned spices or colorants and required saffron counterfeiters to be burned. With the onset of the revolution, people became dependent on foods produced by others. These new urban dwellers demanded food at low cost, analytical chemistry was still primitive and regulations few. Copper arsenite was used to recolor used tea leaves for resale and it also caused two deaths when used to color a dessert in 1860. Again his tea if mixed or green, he would not escape without the administration of a little Prussian blue. Many color additives had never tested for toxicity or other adverse effects. Historical records show that injuries, even deaths, resulted from tainted colorants, in 1851, about 200 people were poisoned in England,17 of them fatally, directly as a result of eating adulterated lozenges. Originally, these were dubbed coal-tar colors because the materials were obtained from bituminous coal. Many synthesized dyes were easier and less costly to produce and were superior in coloring properties when compared to naturally derived alternatives, some synthetic food colorants are diazo dyes. Diazo dyes are prepared by coupling of a compound with a second aromatic hydrocarbons. The resulting compounds contain conjugated systems that absorb light in the visible parts of the spectrum. The attractiveness of the synthetic dyes is that their color, lipophilicity, the color of the dyes can be controlled by selecting the number of azo-groups and various substituents. Yellow shades are often achieved by using acetoacetanilide, Red colors are often azo compounds
2. Carmine – Carmine, also called cochineal, cochineal extract, crimson lake or carmine lake, natural red 4, C. I. 75470, or E120, is a pigment of a bright-red color obtained from the salt of carminic acid. The pigment is produced from some scale insects such as the cochineal scale, the English word carmine is derived from the French word carmin, from Medieval Latin carminium, from Arabic qirmiz, which itself derives from Middle Persian carmir. The Persian term carmir might come from Sanskrit krimiga, from krmi The term may also be influenced in Latin by minium, purity of color is ensured by the absence of iron. Stannous chloride, citric acid, borax, or gelatin may be added to regulate the formation of the precipitate. For shades of purple, lime is added to the alum, thus, Carmine may be prepared from cochineal, by boiling dried insects in water to extract the carminic acid and then treating the clear solution with alum. Other common substances such as cream of tartar, stannous chloride, or potassium hydrogen oxalate can also be used to effect the precipitation, use of these chemicals causes the coloring and animal matters present in the liquid to be precipitated to give a lake pigment. Aluminum from the alum gives the traditional color to carminic acid precipitates. This color is degraded by the presence of iron salts, addition of lime can give carminic acid lakes a purple cast. Other methods for the production of dye are in use, in which egg white, fish glue. The quality of carmine is affected by the temperature and the degree of illumination during its preparation and it also differs according to the amount of alumina present in it. It is sometimes adulterated with cinnabar, starch and other materials, from these, good carmine should crumble readily between the fingers when dry. Carmine can be used as an agent in histology, as a Bests carmine to stain glycogen, mucicarmine to stain acidic mucopolysaccharides. In these applications, it is applied together with a mordant, Carmine was used in dyeing textiles and in painting since antiquity. It is not very stable in oil paint, and its use ceased after new, jacopo Tintoretto used carmine in several of his paintings, including Portrait of Vincenzo Morosini and Christ Washing the Feet of the Disciples. Carmine is used as a dye in many different products such as juices, ice cream, yogurt, and candy. Although principally a red dye, it is found in foods that are shades of red, pink. As a food dye it has known to cause severe allergic reactions
3. Safflower – Safflower is a highly branched, herbaceous, thistle-like annual plant. It is commercially cultivated for vegetable oil extracted from the seeds, plants are 30 to 150 cm tall with globular flower heads having yellow, orange, or red flowers. Each branch will usually have one to five flower heads containing 15 to 20 seeds per head. Safflower is native to arid environments having seasonal rain and it grows a deep taproot which enables it to thrive in such environments. Safflower is one of humanitys oldest crops, chemical analysis of ancient Egyptian textiles dated to the Twelfth Dynasty identified dyes made from safflower, and garlands made from safflowers were found in the tomb of the pharaoh Tutankhamun. John Chadwick reports that the Greek name for safflower κάρθαμος occurs many times in Linear B tablets, the explanation is that there are two parts of the plant which can be used, the pale seeds and the red florets. In 2013, global production of seeds was 718,161 tonnes. Other significant producers were India, the United States, Mexico, traditionally, the crop was grown for its seeds, and used for coloring and flavoring foods, in medicines, and making red and yellow dyes, especially before cheaper aniline dyes became available. For the last fifty years or so, the plant has been cultivated mainly for the oil extracted from its seeds. Safflower seed oil is flavorless and colorless, and nutritionally similar to sunflower oil and it is used mainly in cosmetics and as a cooking oil, in salad dressing, and for the production of margarine. There are two types of safflower that produce different kinds of oil, one high in monounsaturated fatty acid, currently the predominant edible oil market is for the former, which is lower in saturated fats than olive oil. The latter is used in painting in the place of linseed oil, particularly with white paints, one human study compared high-linoleic safflower oil with conjugated linoleic acid, showing that body fat decreased and adiponectin levels increased in obese women consuming safflower oil. In the same study, a meta-analysis of linoleic acid used in clinical trials showed no evidence of cardiovascular benefit. Safflower flowers are used in cooking as a cheaper substitute for saffron. In coloring textiles, dried flowers are used as a natural dye source for the orange-red pigment Carthamin. Carthamin is also known, in the dye industry, as Carthamus Red or Natural Red 26. Chinese herbology Conjugated linoleic acid Safflower Princess Tsheringma Complementary and Alternative Healing University Ahmed M. Zahran, M. F. Omran, S. Z. Mansour, effectiveness of Carthamus tinctorius L. in the Restitution of Lipid Composition in Irradiated Rats
4. Saffron – Saffron is a spice derived from the flower of Crocus sativus, commonly known as the saffron crocus. Saffron crocus grows to 20–30 cm and bears up to four flowers, the styles and stigmas, called threads, are collected and dried to be used mainly as a seasoning and colouring agent in food. Saffron, long among the worlds most costly spices by weight, is native to Southwest Asia and was probably first cultivated in or near Greece. As a genetically monomorphic clone, it was slowly propagated throughout much of Eurasia and was brought to parts of North Africa, North America. Saffrons taste and iodoform or hay-like fragrance result from the chemicals picrocrocin and it also contains a carotenoid pigment, crocin, which imparts a rich golden-yellow hue to dishes and textiles. Its recorded history is attested in a 7th-century BC Assyrian botanical treatise compiled under Ashurbanipal, Iran now accounts for approximately 90% of the world production of saffron. A degree of uncertainty surrounds the origin of the English word saffron and it might stem from the 12th-century Old French term safran, which comes from the Latin word safranum or from Arabic, az-zafaran, having unknown origin. Safranum comes from the Persian intercessor zafarān, the domesticated saffron crocus, Crocus sativus, is an autumn-flowering perennial plant unknown in the wild. Its progenitors are possibly the eastern Mediterranean autumn-flowering Crocus cartwrightianus, which is known as wild saffron. The saffron crocus probably resulted when C. cartwrightianus was subjected to artificial selection by growers seeking longer stigmata. C. thomasii and C. pallasii are other possible sources, a corm survives for one season, producing via this vegetative division up to ten cormlets that can grow into new plants in the next season. Corms also bear vertical fibres, thin and net-like, that grow up to 5 cm above the plants neck, the plant grows to a height of 20–30 cm, and sprouts 5–11 white and non-photosynthetic leaves known as cataphylls. These membrane-like structures cover and protect the crocuss 5 to 11 true leaves as they bud and develop. The latter are thin, straight, and blade-like green foliage leaves, which are 1–3 mm in diameter, C. sativus cataphylls are suspected by some to manifest prior to blooming when the plant is irrigated relatively early in the growing season. Its floral axes, or flower-bearing structures, bear bracteoles, or specialised leaves, that sprout from the flower stems, after aestivating in spring, the plant sends up its true leaves, each up to 40 cm in length. The flowers possess a sweet, honey-like fragrance, upon flowering, plants average less than 30 cm in height. A three-pronged style emerges from each flower, each prong terminates with a vivid crimson stigma 25–30 mm in length. The saffron crocus, unknown in the wild, probably descends from Crocus cartwrightianus, if C. sativus is a mutant form of C. cartwrightianus, then it may have emerged via plant breeding, which would have selected for elongated stigmata, in late Bronze Age Crete
5. Carotene – The term carotene is used for many related unsaturated hydrocarbon substances having the formula C40Hx, which are synthesized by plants but in general cannot be made by animals. Carotenes are photosynthetic pigments important for photosynthesis and they absorb ultraviolet, violet, and blue light and scatter orange or red light, and yellow light. Carotenes are responsible for the colour of the carrot, for which this class of chemicals is named. Carotenes are also responsible for the colours in dry foliage. They also impart the yellow coloration to milk-fat and butter, the typical yellow-coloured fat of humans and chickens is a result of fat storage of carotenes from their diets. Carotenes contribute to photosynthesis by transmitting the energy they absorb to chlorophyll. They also protect plant tissues by helping to absorb the energy from singlet oxygen, the carotenes α-carotene and γ-carotene, due to their single retinyl group, also have some vitamin A activity, as does the xanthophyll carotenoid β-cryptoxanthin. All other carotenoids, including lycopene, have no beta-ring and thus no vitamin A activity, animal species differ greatly in their ability to convert retinyl containing carotenoids to retinals. Carnivores in general are poor converters of dietary ionone-containing carotenoids, chemically, carotenes are polyunsaturated hydrocarbons containing 40 carbon atoms per molecule, variable numbers of hydrogen atoms, and no other elements. Some carotenes are terminated by rings, on one or both ends of the molecule. All are coloured to the eye, due to extensive systems of conjugated double bonds. Structurally carotenes are tetraterpenes, meaning that they are synthesized biochemically from four 10-carbon terpene units, carotenes are found in plants in two primary forms designated by characters from the Greek alphabet, alpha-carotene and beta-carotene. Gamma-, delta-, epsilon-, and zeta-carotene also exist, since they are hydrocarbons, and therefore contain no oxygen, carotenes are fat-soluble and insoluble in water. 6 μg of dietary β-carotene supplies the equivalent of 1 μg of retinol and this is equivalent to 3⅓ IU of vitamin A. The two primary isomers of carotene, α-carotene and β-carotene, differ in the position of a bond in the cyclic group at one end. β-Carotene is the common form and can be found in yellow, orange. As a rule of thumb, the greater the intensity of the colour of the fruit or vegetable. Carotene protects plant cells against the effects of ultraviolet light
6. Cochineal – The cochineal is a scale insect in the suborder Sternorrhyncha, from which the natural dye carmine is derived. A primarily sessile parasite native to tropical and subtropical South America as well as Mexico and Arizona and these insects are found on the pads of prickly pear cacti, then are brushed off and dried. The insect produces carminic acid that deters predation by other insects, carminic acid, typically 17-24% of dried insects weight, can be extracted from the body and eggs, then mixed with aluminium or calcium salts to make carmine dye, also known as cochineal. Today, carmine is primarily used as a colorant in food, the carmine dye was used in Central America in the 15th century for coloring fabrics and became an important export good during the colonial period. After synthetic pigments and dyes such as alizarin were invented in the late 19th century, some towns in the Mexican state of Oaxaca are still working in handmade textiles using this cochineal. The primary biological distinctions between species are minor differences in host plant preferences, in addition to different geographic distributions. Cochineal is probably from French cochenille, Spanish cochinilla, Latin coccinus, meaning scarlet-colored, and Latin coccum, meaning berry yielding scarlet dye. See also the word kermes which is the source of a similar but weaker Mediterranean dye also called crimson. Some sources identify the Spanish source word for cochineal as cochinilla wood louse, Cochineal dye was used by the Aztec and Maya peoples of Central and North America. Eleven cities conquered by Montezuma in the 15th century paid a tribute of 2000 decorated cotton blankets and 40 bags of cochineal dye each. Production of cochineal is depicted in Codex Osuna, during the colonial period, the production of cochineal grew rapidly. Produced almost exclusively in Oaxaca by indigenous producers, cochineal became Mexicos second-most valued export after silver, soon after the Spanish conquest of the Aztec Empire, it began to be exported to Spain, and by the 17th century was a commodity traded as far away as India. The dyestuff was consumed throughout Europe and was so prized, its price was regularly quoted on the London. In 1777, French botanist Nicolas-Joseph Thiéry de Menonville, presenting himself as a physician, smuggled the insects. This particular collection failed to thrive and ultimately died out, leaving the Mexican monopoly intact, after the Mexican War of Independence in 1810–1821, the Mexican monopoly on cochineal came to an end. Large-scale production of cochineal emerged, especially in Guatemala and the Canary Islands, it was cultivated in Spain. The delicate manual labour required for the breeding of the insect could not compete with the methods of the new industry. The tuna blood dye stopped being used and trade in cochineal almost totally disappeared in the course of the 20th century, the breeding of the cochineal insect has been done mainly for the purposes of maintaining the tradition rather than to satisfy any sort of demand
7. Caramel – Caramel is a beige to dark-brown confectionery product made by heating a variety of sugars. It can be used as a flavoring in puddings and desserts, as a filling in bonbons, or as a topping for ice cream, the process of caramelization consists of heating sugar slowly to around 170 °C. As the sugar heats, the break down and re-form into compounds with a characteristic color and flavor. A variety of candies, desserts, and confections are made with caramel, brittles, nougats, pralines, crème brûlée, crème caramel, ice creams sometimes are flavored with or contain swirls of caramel. The English word comes from French caramel, borrowed from Spanish caramelo, most likely that comes from Late Latin calamellus sugar cane, a diminutive of calamus reed, cane, itself from Greek κάλαμος. Less likely, it comes from a Medieval Latin cannamella, from canna cane + mella honey, finally, some dictionaries connect it to an Arabic kora-mochalla ball of sweet. Caramel sauce is made by mixing caramelized sugar with cream, depending on the intended application, additional ingredients such as butter, fruit purees, liquors or vanilla are often used. Caramel sauce is used in a variety of desserts, though most notably as a topping for ice cream, when it is used for crème caramel or flan, it is known as clear caramel and only contains caramelized sugar and water. Butterscotch sauce is made with brown sugar, butter and often a splash of whiskey. Traditionally, butterscotch is a hard candy more in line with a toffee, toffee, or in the US caramel candy, is a soft, dense, chewy candy made by boiling a mixture of milk or cream, sugar, glucose, butter, and vanilla. The sugar and glucose are heated separately to reach 130 °C, the mixture is then stirred and reheated until it reaches 120 °C. Upon completion of cooking, vanilla or any additional flavorings and salt are added, adding the vanilla or flavorings earlier would result in their burning off at the high temperatures. Adding salt earlier in the process would result in inverting the sugars as they cooked, alternately, all ingredients may be cooked together. In this procedure, the mixture is not heated above the firm ball stage and this temperature is not high enough to caramelize sugar and this type of candy is often called milk caramel or cream caramel. Caramel coloring, a dark, bitter-tasting liquid, is the highly concentrated product of near total caramelization and it is used as food coloring and in beverages, such as cola. Caramelization is the removal of water from a sugar, proceeding to isomerization and polymerization of the sugars into various high-molecular-weight compounds, compounds such as difructose anhydride may be created from the monosaccharides after water loss. Fragmentation reactions result in low-molecular-weight compounds that may be volatile and may contribute to flavor, polymerization reactions lead to larger-molecular-weight compounds that contribute to the dark-brown color. In modern recipes and in production, glucose or invert sugar is added to prevent crystallization
8. Caramel color – Caramel color or caramel coloring is a water-soluble food coloring. It is made by heat treatment of carbohydrates, in general in the presence of acids, alkalis, or salts and it is more fully oxidized than caramel candy, and has an odor of burnt sugar and a somewhat bitter taste. Its color ranges from yellow to amber to dark brown. Caramel color is widely approved for use in food globally but application, caramel color is manufactured by heating carbohydrates, either alone or in the presence of acids, alkalis, and/or salts. Caramel color is produced from commercially available nutritive sweeteners consisting of fructose, dextrose, invert sugar, sucrose, malt syrup, molasses, starch hydrolysates, antifoaming agents, such as polyglycerol esters of fatty acids, may be used as processing aids during manufacture. Its color ranges from pale-yellow to amber to dark-brown, caramel color molecules carry either a positive or a negative charge depending upon the reactants used in their manufacture. Problems such as precipitation, flocculation, or migration can be eliminated with the use of a properly charged caramel color for the intended application. Color Intensity is defined as the absorbance of a 1 mg/mL solution in water, in this case, A stands for absorbance and TS stands for total solids. Color Intensity = A ∗100 T S The color tone of the color is also important. This is defined by the Linner Hue Index, which is the measure of the color hue or red characteristics of the caramel color and it is a function of the absorbance of light of wavelengths 510 and 610 nm. In general, the higher the Tinctorial Power, K0.56, the lower the Hue Index, various other indices are in use around the world and there are conversion factors between them. Though the primary function of caramel color is for coloration, it also serves additional functions, the United States Food and Drug Administration classifies and regulates caramel color in Title 21 CFR §73.85 as a generally recognized as safe color additive exempt from certification. Unless a food has a standard of identity, caramel color may be used in foods generally at levels consistent with good manufacturing practice. The IPCS has concluded that caramel color does not exhibit carcinogenicity or mutagenicity, caramel color has excellent microbiological stability. When reacted with sulfites, caramel color may retain traces of sulfite after processing, however, in finished food products, labeling is usually required only for sulfite levels above 10 ppm. Caramel coloring may be derived from a variety of products that are themselves common allergens, starch hydrolysates, malt syrup. North American and European manufacturers mostly use glucose derived from corn or wheat to produce caramel color, which is highly processed and is generally considered gluten-free
9. Allura Red AC – Allura Red AC is a red azo dye that goes by several names including Allura Red, Food Red 17, C. I. It is used as a dye and has the E number E129. The compound is a derivative of naphthalene, it is red powder. It usually comes as a salt, but can also be used as both calcium and potassium salts. These salts are soluble in water, in solution, its maximum absorbance lies at about 504 nm and its melting point is above 300 °C. Allura Red AC is a very popular dye throughout the world, annual production in 1980 was greater than 2.3 million kilograms. S. Since the 1970s and the advocacy of Benjamin Feingold, there has been public concern that food colorings may cause ADHD-like behavior in children. In 2015, the EFSA found that the exposure estimates did not exceed the ADI of 7 mg/kg bw per day in any population. Allura Red AC was at one time banned in Denmark, Belgium, France and Switzerland, the European Union approves Allura Red AC as a food colorant. In Norway, it was banned between 1978 and 2001, a period in which azo dyes were only used in alcoholic beverages. In the United States, Allura Red AC is approved by the FDA for use in cosmetics, drugs, when prepared as a lake it is disclosed as Red 40 Lake or Red 40 Aluminum Lake. It is used in tattoo inks and is used in many products, such as soft drinks, childrens medications. Record in the Household Products Database of NLM UK Food Guide on E129 International Programme on Chemical Safety Some more details, other common names List of Foods and Drugs containing Red Dye #40
10. Astaxanthin – It belongs to a larger class of chemical compounds known as terpenes, terpenes are built from five carbon precursors, isopentenyl diphosphate and dimethylallyl diphosphate. Astaxanthin is classified as a xanthophyll, but currently employed to describe compounds that have oxygen-containing moities, hydroxyl or ketone. Indeed, astaxanthin is a metabolite of zeaxanthin and/or canthaxanthin, containing both hydroxyl and ketone functional groups, like many carotenoids, astaxanthin is a colorful, lipid-soluble pigment. This colour is due to the chain of conjugated double bonds at the centre of the compound. Astaxanthin is found in microalgae, yeast, salmon, trout, krill, shrimp, crayfish, crustaceans, and it provides the red color of salmon meat and the red color of cooked shellfish. Professor Basil Weedons group was the first to prove the structure of astaxanthin by synthesis, astaxanthin, unlike several carotenes and one other known carotenoid, is not converted to vitamin A in the human body. Like other carotenoids, astaxanthin has self-limited absorption orally and such low toxicity by mouth that no toxic syndrome is known and it is an antioxidant with a slightly lower antioxidant activity in some model systems than other carotenoids. However, in living organisms the free-radical terminating effectiveness of each carotenoid is heavily modified by its lipid solubility, while astaxanthin is a natural dietary component, it can also be used as a food supplement. The supplement is intended for human, animal, and aquaculture consumption, the industrial production of astaxanthin comes from both natural and synthetic sources. The U. S. Food and Drug Administration has approved astaxanthin as a coloring for specific uses in animal. The European Commission considers it food dye and it is given the E number E161j, natural astaxanthin is generally recognized as safe by the FDA, but as a food coloring in the United States it is restricted to use in animal food. Astaxanthin is present in most red-coloured aquatic organisms, the content varies from species to species, but also from individual to individual as it is highly dependent on diet and living conditions. Astaxanthin, and other chemically related asta-carotenoids, has also found in a number of lichen species of the arctic zone. Currently, the primary source for natural astaxanthin is the microalgae Haematococcus pluvialis. Haematococcus pluvialis seems to accumulate the highest levels of astaxanthin in nature, commercially, more than 40 g of astaxanthin can be obtained from one kg of dry biomass. Haematococcus pluvialis has the advantage of the population doubling every week, however, it does require some expertise to grow the algae with a high astaxanthin content. Specifically, the microalgae are grown in two phases, first, in the green phase, the cells are given an abundance of nutrients to promote proliferation of the cells. The cells, with their high concentrations of astaxanthin, are then harvested, in contrast to synthetic and bacteria sources of astaxanthin, yeast sources of astaxanthin consist mainly of the -form, an important astaxanthin source in nature
11. Brilliant Blue FCF – Brilliant Blue FCF is an organic compound classified as a triarylmethane dye, reflecting its chemical structure. Known under various names, it is a colorant for foods. It is denoted by E number E133 and has a index of 42090. It has the appearance of a reddish-blue powder and it is soluble in water, and the solution has a maximum absorption at about 628 nanometers. It is a dye produced by the condensation of 2-formylbenzenesulfonic acid. It can be combined with tartrazine to produce shades of green. It is usually a disodium salt, the diammonium salt has CAS number 3844-45-9. Calcium and potassium salts are also permitted and it can also appear as an aluminium lake. Related dyes are C. I. acid green 3 and acid green 9, in these dyes, the 2-sulfonic acid group is replaced by H and Cl, respectively. It is also used in soaps, shampoos, mouthwash and other hygiene, in soil science, Brilliant Blue is applied in tracing studies to visualize infiltration and water distribution in the soil. In the United States, of the two approved blue dyes, Brilliant Blue FCF is the common of the two. The dye is poorly absorbed from the tract and 95% of the ingested dye can be found in the feces. Brilliant Blue FCF is a food colorant and pharmacologically inactive substance for drug formulations in the EU. It is also legal in other countries and it has the capacity for inducing allergic reactions in individuals with pre-existing moderate asthma. In 2003, the U. S. FDA issued a health advisory to warn health care providers of the potential toxicity of this synthetic dye in enteral feeding solutions. The following legal limits apply in the EU and other countries, safety limit for foods and drugs,0.1 mg/day per kg body weight. The ADI for Brilliant Blue FCF is 6 mg/kg, however, OxATP has toxic side effects and must be injected directly into the spinal cord, in searching for alternatives they noted that Brilliant Blue FCF has a similar structure. This led them to test a related dye, Brilliant Blue G in rats, W. H. Hansen, O. G. Fitzhugh, A. A. Nelson, K. J. Davis
12. Lycopene – Although lycopene is chemically a carotene, it has no vitamin A activity. Foods that are not red may also contain lycopene, such as asparagus, like all carotenoids, lycopene is a polyunsaturated hydrocarbon, i. e. an unsubstituted alkene. Structurally, lycopene is a tetraterpene and assembled from eight isoprene units that are composed entirely of carbon, lycopenes eleven conjugated double bonds give its deep red color and its antioxidant activity. Owing to the color, lycopene is a useful food coloring and is approved for usage in the USA, Australia and New Zealand. Lycopene is not a nutrient for humans, but is commonly found in the diet mainly from dishes prepared from tomatoes. Lycopene is a symmetrical tetraterpene assembled from eight isoprene units and it is a member of the carotenoid family of compounds, and because it consists entirely of carbon and hydrogen, is also a carotene. Isolation procedures for lycopene were first reported in 1910, and the structure of the molecule was determined by 1931, in its natural, all-trans form, the molecule is long and straight, constrained by its system of eleven conjugated double bonds. Lycopene absorbs all but the longest wavelengths of light, so it appears red. Plants and photosynthetic bacteria naturally produce all-trans lycopene, but a total of 72 geometric isomers of the molecule are sterically possible, when exposed to light or heat, lycopene can undergo isomerization to any of a number of these cis-isomers, which have a bent rather than linear shape. Different isomers were shown to have different stabilities due to their molecular energy, in the human bloodstream, various cis-isomers constitute more than 60% of the total lycopene concentration, but the biological effects of individual isomers have not been investigated. Lycopene, the pigment in tomato-containing sauces, turns plastic cookware orange and is insoluble in water and it can be dissolved only in organic solvents and oils. Because of its non-polarity, lycopene in food preparations will stain any sufficiently porous material, to remove this staining, the plastics can be soaked in a solution containing a small amount of household bleach. Carotenoids like lycopene are important pigments found in photosynthetic pigment-protein complexes in plants, photosynthetic bacteria, fungi and they are responsible for the bright colors of fruits and vegetables, perform various functions in photosynthesis, and protect photosynthetic organisms from excessive light damage. Lycopene is a key intermediate in the biosynthesis of many important carotenoids, such as beta-carotene, the unconditioned biosynthesis of lycopene in eukaryotic plants and in prokaryotic cyanobacteria is similar, as are the enzymes involved. Synthesis begins with mevalonic acid, which is converted into dimethylallyl pyrophosphate and this is then condensed with three molecules of isopentenyl pyrophosphate, to give the twenty-carbon geranylgeranyl pyrophosphate. Two molecules of this product are then condensed in a configuration to give the forty-carbon phytoene. Through several desaturation steps, phytoene is converted into lycopene, the two terminal isoprene groups of lycopene can be cyclized to produce beta-carotene, which can then be transformed into a wide variety of xanthophylls. Fruits and vegetables that are high in lycopene include autumn olive, gac, tomatoes, watermelon, pink grapefruit, pink guava, papaya, seabuckthorn, wolfberry, the lycopene content of tomatoes depends on species and increases as the fruit ripens