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A yellow, carotenoid pigment found in egg yolks, yellow flowers, body fats, green vegetation, and bird feathers. Xanthophyll, or phylloxanthin, acts as an antioxidant and is included in eye medicines to prevent macular degeneration. Examples of xanthophylls include lutein, zeaxanthin and cryptoxanthin.

Synonyms and Related Terms

phylloxanthin; lutein; vegetable luteol; B,E-carotene-3,3'-diol; carotenoid; xantofila (Esp., Port.); xantofyll (Sven.)

Physical and Chemical Properties

Insoluble in water. Slightly soluble in ethanol. Soluble in fats and oils.

Abs. max = 481, 453, 429, 333, 268 nm

Composition C40H56O2
CAS 127-40-2
Melting Point 190-193 C
Molecular Weight mol. wt. = 568.85

Resources and Citations

  • The Merck Index, Martha Windholz (ed.), Merck Research Labs, Rahway NJ, 10th edition, 1983 Comment: entry 9875

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