Lutein Properties, Molecular Formula, Applications - WorldOfChemicals

Lutein Properties


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Lutein is a xanthophyll and one of 600 known naturally-occurring carotenoids. Found in green leafy vegetables such as spinach and kale, lutein is employed by organisms as an antioxidant and for blue light absorption. Lutein is also found in egg yolks, animal fats, and the retina. It is a lipophilic molecule and is generally insoluble in water. The presence of the long chromophore of conjugated double bonds provides the distinctive light-absorbing properties. The polyene chain is susceptible to oxidative degradation by light or heat and is chemically unstable in acids. This xanthophyll, like its sister compound zeaxanthin, has primarily been used as a natural colorant due to its orange-red color. Lutein absorbs blue light and therefore appears yellow at low concentrations and orange-red at high concentrations. It was traditionally used in chicken feed to provide the yellow color of broiler chicken skin. Lutein is not used as a colorant in other foods due to its limited stability, especially in the presence of other dyes.

Chemical Properties

Appearance Red-orange crystalline solid
CAS Number 127-40-2
EINECS Number 204-840-0
IUPAC Name β,ε-Carotene-3,3'-Diol
InChI 1S/C40H56O2/c1-29(17-13-19-31(3)21-23-37-33(5)25-35(41)27-39(37,7)8)15-11-12-16-30(2)18-14-20-32(4)22-24-38-34(6)26-36(42)28-40(38,9)10/h11-25,35-37,41-42H,26-28H2,1-10H3/b12-11+,17-13+,18-14+,23-21+,24-22+,29-15+,30-16+,31-19+,32-20+/t35-,36+,37-/m0/s1
Melting Point 190 °C
Molar Mass 568.87g/mol
Molecular Formula C40H56O2
Solubility Insoluble
Synonyms Luteine;trans-Lutein;4-​[18-​(4-​Hydroxy-​2,6,6-​Trimethyl-​1-​Cyclohexenyl)-​3,7,12,16-​Tetramethyloctadeca-​1,3,5,7,9,11,13,15,17-​Nonaenyl]-​3,5,5-​Trimethyl-​Cyclohex-​2-​en-​1-​ol