SCIMAT / SCIENCE PHOTO LIBRARY SCIMAT / SCIENCE PHOTO LIBRARY
Molecular model of beta-carotene (Formula: C40 H56, Molar mass: 536.87 g/mol). Carbon represented in red and hydrogen in yellow. Beta-carotene is a red-orange coloured terpenoid with conjugated double bonds and beta-rings at both ends of the molecule. Beta-carotene is present in many yellow and orange fruits and vegetables, e.g., carrots, pumpkin, cantaloupe, mangoes and papayas and leafy green vegetables (spinach, kale). The Vietnamese vegetable gac (Momordica cochinchinensis) and crude palm oil have the highest content of beta-carotene of any known fruit or vegetable. Used as a commercial food colouring it has the symbol E160a.
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