The global carotenoids market is expected to reach $2.19 billion by 2026, according to a new report by Reports and Data. Carotenoids are the type of phytonutrients found in the cells of a wide variety of plants, algae, and bacteria. These phytonutrients help plants absorb light energy for use in photosynthesis. Carotenoids are essential antioxidants that play a significant role in animal health and reproduction. Carotenoid-containing foods are generally red, yellow, or orange.
Carotenoids are extensively used as coloring agents in the food and beverages industry. Nevertheless, with biotechnological advancements coupled with innovations in recombinant DNA technology, the extraction of carotenoids is now commercially feasible. Owing to this, there is an increase in the production of carotenoid-based products. The rise in consumer awareness regarding the health benefits of carotenoid-based supplements and fortified foods has led to the use of such products as a preventive measure against various health conditions, including arthritis, diabetes, obesity, cancer, macular degeneration, and skin damage, among others.
The growth in the market demand for functional foods is also estimated to propel the market demand for carotenoids. The carotenoid market is projected to rise significantly in the forecast period owing to high demand in end-use applications comprising food and beverages, animal feed, dietary supplements, personal care, and pharmaceuticals.
Eating carotenoid-rich foods can protect healthy cells in the eye and inhibit the growth of cancerous cells. One of the principal reasons for blindness is macular degeneration. Presence of the long system of alternating double and single bonds in carotenoids allows them to absorb light rays in the visible range of the spectrum. This characteristic is particularly beneficial to eyes, where lutein, zeaxanthin, and meso-zeaxanthin efficiently absorb blue light. Based on the density of the carotenoid pigment present in the macula, about 90% of blue light can be absorbed by these pigments. Reduction in the amount of short wavelength that reaches the vital parts of the eye may protect them from oxidative damage caused by light.
Studies show that including at least six milligrams of lutein in a diet regularly can reduce the risk associated with the macular degeneration by 43%. Increasing the amount of lutein and zeaxanthin in a diet can also assist in preventing current eye damage.