Carotenoid composition of marigold (Tageteserecta) flower extract used as nutritional supplement

Author(s): Hadden WL, Watkins RH, Levy LW, Regalado E, Rivadeneira DM, et al.


Commercially prepared marigold flower (Tagetes erecta) extract was saponified and analyzed for carotenoid composition. HPLC analyses were performed on two normal-phase columns (beta-Cyclobond and silica) and on a C(30) reversed-phase column. The extract contained 93% utilizable pigments (detected at 450 nm), consisting of all-trans and cis isomers of zeaxanthin (5%), all-trans and cis isomers of lutein, and lutein esters (88%). All were identified by chromatographic retention, UV-visible spectra, and positive ion electrospray mass spectrometry in comparison to authentic standards. Contrary to previous findings, insignificant levels (<0.3%) of lutein oxidation products were detected in the saponified extract. This compositional determination is important for the application of marigold extract in nutritional supplements and increases its value as a poultry feed colorant because it contains more biologically useful lutein compounds than previously believed.

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