Molecule of the Week

β-Carotene

November 24, 2008

β-Carotene, one of several naturally occurring carotene isomers, is the most important of the A provitamins. It is widely distributed in the animal and plant kingdoms and is most abundant in yellow and orange fruits and vegetables such as mangoes, papayas, yams, and carrots. In biological systems, it is cleaved at the central C=C bond to form vitamin A by the enzyme β-carotene dioxygenase.