Lutein & Zeaxanthin: Process/Efficacy/Application

01 The source and processing technology of lutein and zeaxanthin

Lutein and zeaxanthin are widely found in many green vegetables and fruits in nature, such as lettuce, rape, corn, marigold, spinach, etc., and are also accompanied by some other natural pigments.

Lutein is the main carotenoid in plant leaves; zeaxanthin is also widely distributed, it is an isomer of lutein, and zeaxanthin is generally present where there is lutein. Especially corn, medlar and physalis are rich in content.

Fresh marigold petals are rich in trans-lutein esters and zeaxanthin. Lutein in nature exists in the form of esters. People obtain the free form through saponification and hydrolysis of the ester of the extract. Lutein crystals.

Nowadays, the processing and production of lutein usually uses other marigold flowers with less pigment impurities as raw materials. Due to the few raw materials impurities, low prices, high target pigment content, easy separation and purification, etc., it is selected as the best raw material. In the production process, the lutein ester is used as the starting material to undergo saponification, hydrolysis, and separation, purification, and purification to obtain crystals with yellow metallic luster, which are lutein crystals.

The extraction method of zeaxanthin mainly adopts organic solvent extraction and supercritical carbon dioxide extraction. The organic solvent method uses corn gluten powder as raw material, and uses a suitable organic solvent to repeatedly extract, filter, and concentrate to obtain zeaxanthin products.

The supercritical carbon dioxide extraction method can avoid solvent residues, and is safe, non-toxic and efficient. It can efficiently separate and obtain high-purity zeaxanthin by controlling the parameters of CO2 in the extractor and the first and second separators and entrainers.

02 The efficacy of lutein and zeaxanthin

Lutein and zeaxanthin have unique physiological functions in the prevention and treatment of chronic diseases, and play a significant role in protecting eyesight, enhancing immunity, and preventing cardiovascular diseases and cancer.

These two natural pigments can absorb the blue short wave in the light to protect the retina; remove active oxygen free radicals in the body; delay early arteriosclerosis; and color.

03 Product dosage form

3.1 Powder colorant products

Lutein can be made into powder with golden color and good fluidity, such as golden chrysanthemum yellow, yellow crystal fragrance, golden glitter, etc., which can be used in the production of feed.

Lutein and zeaxanthin are added to some poultry feeds and aquatic feeds. Carotenoids can be deposited in poultry. Some shrimp fish can convert them into astaxanthin, which is safe, non-toxic, and low-cost.

Lutein oil suspension is an oil-soluble product, which can be used to produce oily foods, such as butter, edible oil, etc. adding appropriate amount of lutein; it can also be used in the production of chicken cakes, sandwiches, and salad dressings to achieve coloration and improvement The role of nutritional value; can also be used to prepare lutein soft capsules.

When the soft capsule is made, a certain amount of lutein is added to the vegetable oil, and enough agitation is added to make the lutein and vegetable oil achieve a stable and uniform effect without layering.

Some lutein water-based dry powders can be used to prepare tablets and hard capsules. This product uses microencapsulation technology to embed lutein and adds vitamin C and vitamin E antioxidants. There are many kinds of lutein tablets on the market, such as Bausch & Lomb, Conba, Ding Yi Aimu, etc., all have lutein chewable tablets, which can relieve visual fatigue.

3.2 Functional food and nutrition in Europe

(1) Orange juice drink addition

The water-soluble dry powder of lutein is added to a small amount of water to dissolve it for later use. It can have the effect of nutrient fortification and coloring in the production of orange juice beverages. It can be added quantitatively as required.

At present, the US FDA has approved zeaxanthin as a new nutritional additive that can be used in food. American Kemin company has launched an eye health drink containing 5% lutein and zeaxanthin and other carotenoid nutrients; Nongfu Spring has also launched a drink containing lutein.

(2) Adding dairy products to beverages

Add the water-soluble dry powder of lutein to a small amount of water to dissolve it for later use, and mix it evenly with other raw materials to achieve the effect of nutritional strengthening and coloring. Lutein is added to infant milk powders such as Beinmate, Yili, Abbott, etc., which can help infants and young children develop their vision.

(3) Add to candy

Dissolve the water-soluble dry powder of lutein with a small amount of water for later use. Dissolve the sucrose and glucose syrup evenly and cook in a vacuum. After cooling, add the sour sweetener flavor and lutein solution and stir evenly, cool, press and cut into pieces .

Adjust the amount of lutein added to meet the requirements of different nutritional fortification and coloring. For example, the children’s lutein eye soft candy produced by Australia Zhener International adds lutein, which can meet the development needs of children’s eyes, and there are also different flavors.

(4) Add to jelly

Dissolve the water-soluble dry powder of lutein with a small amount of water, mix and dissolve the jelly gum and white sugar with water, add calcium lactate and citric acid, inject it into a mold while it is hot, and obtain a jelly product after sterilization. Adjust the amount of lutein added to meet the requirements of different nutritional fortification and coloring.

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