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Chromoplastid carotenoids from fruits

CarotenoidsChromoplastESTECHFruitsSize Exclusion Chromatography


The invention in this patent allows obtaining chromoplastid carotenoids with a very high yield and with a minimum purity of 70% and a maximum of 96%. The isolation of carotenoids occurs from homogeneous fragments of chromoplastid membranes from fruits. The carotenoids thus obtained can be formulated in compositions for dietary, pharmaceutical, nutraceutical, and cosmetic applications.

Technical features

The invention relates to the process of obtaining chromoplastid carotenoids which can be isolated from vegetables, in particular from fruits. By chromoplastid carotenoids, we mean all carotenoids which, in different forms (free, associated with sugars, or associated with proteins), are accumulated in plastid organelles typical of fruits and called chromoplasts. Depending on the type of fruit, the carotenoids that can be found in chromoplasts are capsorubin, lycopene, carotenes (-α, -β, -γ), and xanthophylls such as zeaxanthin, violaxanthin, and lutein. The chromoplast membranes of the fruits, after isolation, are first solubilized with alkyl-saccharide and alkyl-thio-saccharide detergents, and then screened by chromatography. This procedure allows the direct and high purity isolation of the carotenoid of interest, which is isolated in the form of regular shaped and sized aggregates.

Possible Applications

  • Therapies for cellular oxidative stress and treatment of tumors, metabolic alterations, neurodegenerative diseases;
  • Food formulations (food supplements);
  • Cosmetic formulations with both colouring and sun protection functions (anti-aging creams, lipsticks, blushes, eye shadows).


  • Quick isolation: the final product is obtained in a single step;
  • High purity: a minimum of 70% and a maximum of 96%;
  • High extraction efficiency: the developed procedure allows us to obtain 10 to 100 times more product for a given quantity of starting material.