Refer to Related Articles
|Systematic IUPAC name
Betacarotene, β-Carotene, Food Orange 5, Provitamin A, 1,1'-(3,7,12,16-Tetramethyl-1,3,5,7,9,11,13,15,17-octadecanonaene-1,18-diyl)bis[2,6,6-trimethylcyclohexene]
|Jmol 3D image||Interactive graph|
|Molar mass||536.89 g·mol−1|
|Appearance||Dark orange crystals|
|Melting point||176–184 °C (349–363 °F; 449–457 K)
|Boiling point||654.7 °C (1,210.5 °F; 927.9 K)
at 760 mmHg
|Solubility||Soluble in CS2, benzene, CHCl3, alcohol
Insoluble in glycerin
|Solubility in dichloromethane||4.51 g/kg (20 °C)|
|Solubility in hexane||0.1 g/L|
|Vapor pressure||2.71·10−16 mmHg|
Refractive index (nD)
|A11CA02 (WHO) D02|
EU classification (DSD)
|R-phrases||R20/21/22, R36/37/38, R44|
|S-phrases||S7, S15, S18, S26, S36|
|Flash point||103 °C (217 °F; 376 K)|
Except where otherwise noted, data are given for materials in their standard state (at 25 °C [77 °F], 100 kPa).
|what is ?)(|
β-Carotene is an organic, strongly colored red-orange pigment abundant in plants and fruits. It is a member of the carotenes, which are terpenoids (isoprenoids), synthesized biochemically from eight isoprene units and thus having 40 carbons. Among the carotenes, β-carotene is distinguished by having beta-rings at both ends of the molecule. β-Carotene is biosynthesized from geranylgeranyl pyrophosphate.
β-Carotene is the most common form of carotene in plants. When used as a food coloring, it has the E number E160a. The structure was deduced by Karrer et al. in 1930. In nature, β-carotene is a precursor (inactive form) to vitamin A via the action of beta-carotene 15,15'-monooxygenase.
Isolation of β-carotene from fruits abundant in carotenoids is commonly done using column chromatography. It can also be extracted from the beta-carotene rich algae, Dunaliella Salina. The separation of β-carotene from the mixture of other carotenoids is based on the polarity of a compound. β-Carotene is a non-polar compound, so it is separated with a non-polar solvent such as hexane. Being highly conjugated, it is deeply colored, and as a hydrocarbon lacking functional groups, it is very lipophilic.