Table 717

Uses of Cantaxanthin

Food Max. Level

Cheese GMP

Fruit-based spreads GMP

Fruit preparations, including pulp, purees, fruit toppings, and coconut milk GMP

Confectionery including hard and soft candy 50 mg/kg

Bakery wares GMP

Fresh meat, poultry, and game, whole pieces or cuts 100 mg/kg

Frozen fish, fish fillets, and fish products, including mollusks, crustaceans, and GMP echinoderms

Cooked fish and fish products 200 mg/kg

Fried fish and fish products, including mollusks, crustaceans, and echinoderms GMP White and semiwhite sugar, fructose, glucose, xylose, sugar solutions and syrups, inverted GMP

sugars, molasses, treacle, and sugar toppings

Other sugars and syrups (e.g., brown sugar, maple syrup) GMP

Herbs, spicing, seasonings, and condiments GMP

Sauces and similar products 100 mg/kg

Protein products 100 mg/kg

Canned or bottled (pasteurized) fruit nectar 5 mg/kg

Noncarbonated, including punches and ades 5 mg/kg

Beer and malt beverages 5 mg/kg

Wines 5 mg/kg

Spirituous beverages 5 mg/kg

Snacks — potato, cereal, or starch-based products GMP

Composite foods (e.g., casseroles, meat pies, mincemeat) GMP

GMP = Good manufacturing practices. Source: Adapted from JECFA (2001).110

suspensions of micronized carotenoid crystals in a vegetable oil; such preparations are stable and can be stored for long periods, especially after the addition of an antioxidant. The oil-based preparations are used in oily products such as dairy, egg, and bakery products.1

The water-dispersible forms are, in most cases, emulsions of supersaturated oil solutions from which organic solvents are removed; these products (up to 10% of pigment) are marketed as beadlets containing surface-active dispersing agents, stabilizing proteins, and antioxidants. Products give slightly cloudy dispersions after water dissolution. Water-dispersible products are used extensively for coloring soft drinks and other foods (Tables 7.16 and 7.17).1

Interestingly, carotenoids have also been suggested to preserve foods by virtue of their antioxidant activity and their inhibitory activity against the synthesis of aflatoxin by Aspergillus flavus and A. parasiticus; a-carotenoids (lutein and a-carotene) are better inhibitory agents than P-carotenoids (zeaxanthin and P-caro-tene).117 Synthetic P-carotene is permitted for coloring foods in general; however, canthaxanthin is also utilized in foods in general, and its use in broiler chicken feed has been established as well.111


I. In Model Systems

Foods are complex systems and the behavior of their components is not easily explained; thus, it is common to study the isolated components in model systems. The studies of carotenoid stability in model systems have mainly focused on 0-carotene (Table 7.18).118-127 They have provided some interesting conclusions: (1) degradation and isomerization are common reactions in the processing of caro-tenoids; (2) illumination, processing, and storage temperature are important factors that must be carefully controlled to have a product of good quality; (3) free radical reactions are involved in the instability of carotenoids; (4) other antioxidants (natural or synthetic) or components of foods could be used to preserve the carotenoid integrity; and (5) each carotenoid has its own characteristic behavior at each processing condition (Table 7.18). The studies in model systems have clearly shown that isomerization is easiest in the positions 9, 13, and 15 of the carotenoid structure.

2. In Food Systems

In the processing or storage of colored foods, carotenoids are sensitive to treatments (Table 7.19).108,128-137 Again, degradation and isomerization are observed during processing or storage and the patterns of isomerization are similar to those observed in model systems. The patterns are dependent on the carotenoid and the analyzed food. It has been observed that high temperatures and short times are preferred conditions during processing of carotenoid-containing foods. Canning is an extremely harsh method and degradation is common, whereas intermediate treatments such as boiling produce total degradation of the more sensitive carotenoids such as the epoxycaro-tenoids. It has also been established that saponification is more stressful for xantho-phylls than for carotenes. Interestingly, during the slow drying of pepper, there is an increase in the total carotenoids of some varieties but not in others. Thus, other factors that are plant intrinsic are involved. It has been demonstrated that illumination enhances the production of carotenoids; in some materials, red carotenoids are increased (capsanthin, capsorubin, and capsolutein).138 Chromogenesis has also been observed during carrot storage (darkness/6°C/60 days), with 11% more total carotenoids than in the starting material.139 Dependence on the food matrix and process conditions is clearly evident for the processing of carrots (Table 7.20), in which the same unitary process could produce different results depending on the specific process conditions. It is also evident that freezing and encapsulation are good processes producing a considerable increment in shelf life (Table 7.20).140 Freezing is a good method to preserve carotenoid-colored products, which maintains most of the characteristics of the fresh product. Fresh and frozen kiwi fruit have 9'-cis-neoxanthin, trans- and cis-violaxanthin, auroxanthin, and lutein, but frozen kiwi stored for 6 months (-18°C) has antheraxanthin as well.141

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