Carotenoid Corner

Carotenoids are a unique class of related compounds (all have exactly 40 carbons) which are highly pigmented (yellow, orange and red).  But in addition to providing color (who would go to a zoo to see gray flamingos?), several carotenoids are potent antioxidants and help to prevent free radicals from damaging cell membranes and other tissue (Chew 1993 reference). Of these 1100+ candidate compounds with chemical-sounding names, dsm-firmenich manufacturers 4 in the Carophyll® line (Beta-carotene, Red, Yellow, and Pink carotenoids), and several more for human use such as lutein and lycopene.  Carophyll® product forms are superior for their uniform beadlet composition, processing stability, superior bioavailability, purity, and science-backed performance.

Rovimix® Beta-carotene, Victus Transition

Primary applications for beta-carotene (BC) include pets (source of vitamin A), and for transition dairy/beef cows.  Ruminants partially convert BC to vitamin A, but it’s the intact BC which is interesting for corpus luteum maintenance (BC colors the corpus luteum yellow/orange), colostrum quality and color, and support of reproduction.  Interestingly, Guernsey and Jersey dairy cows convert less BC to vitamin A, which accounts for their richer-colored milk. 

Carophyll® Red (canthaxanthin)

Carophyll Red helps improve broiler skin coloration. Feeding level varies by country, so consult your dsm-firmenich representative for specific programs.  Also, Carophyll Red is used in salmon feeds in Canada to support pigmentation.  Carophyll Red is used to support chick development in breeder programs, through its antioxidant properties.

Carophyll® Yellow (apo-ester carotenal) – Approved in Canada only

Carophyll Yellow is used in yolk coloration programs, permitted to 30 ppm in layer feed in Canada.  It is commonly used in wheat-based diets to support the lack of natural carotenoids provided from corn-based rations.

Carophyll® Pink (astaxanthin)

Carophyll Pink is used in diets for salmon pigmentation in the US and Canada. Consult with your dsm-firmenich rep for details—it can be used in combination with Red in Canada.


Chew, B.P. 1993. Role of carotenoids in the immune response.  J. Dairy Sci. 76:2804-2811.


Graph legend:  Forage processing (ensiling, drying, storage) all reduce BC content of forage, thus increasing the need for supplemental BC for dairy and beef cows when they are fed stored forage


Image Legend: Yolk colors measured against the YolkFan™ or via Digital YolkFan™.  Depending on local market preferences (or for hatcheries), desired yolk color can range from 1 = pale yellow to 16 = orange
This is a great tool to support Canada egg yolk pigments.

Published on

16 May 2022



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