CAROPHYLL® – Because Color Matters

Much of the pleasure we derive from food comes from its visual appearance, so the color of food ingredients is extremely important. We offer products that allow consistent delivery of precisely-pigmented egg yolks, poultry and fish.

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Carotenoids play an important role in animal feed. They are vital antioxidants and also vitamin A precursors.

Their most important role in poultry farming and aquaculture however, is their ability to improve the appearance of products such as egg yolks, chicken skin and fish flesh.

Carotenoid levels vary from one plant to another, and unless poultry and fish diets are provided with supplements, the result will be variation in the appearance of food products.

Our CAROPHYLL® range of carotenoid additives allows producers to deliver precisely-colored and pigmented food reliably and consistently. We have combined our quality products, our unique beadlet technology and our many years’ experience to provide a great method for improving product quality and increasing consumer confidence.

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Perfect Poultry Skin – The CAROPHYLL® Way

Local poultry markets reflect varying ideals concerning the perfect skin shade. Get closer to perfection in your region while maintaining high standards of safety, consistency and reliability.

As consumers, we all want to buy the healthiest-looking chicken, and color is one of the main factors we consider as indicators of health and freshness. But as a producer, how do you ensure consistently-pigmented poultry skin?

Skin pigmentation is the result of naturally occurring pigments called carotenoids. Their concentration within an organism may vary, but adding supplementary carotenoids means the desired skin shade can be consistently achieved.

CAROPHYLL® red 10% AND CAROPHYLL® yellow 10% are feed additives for broilers which allow for very precise control over skin pigmentation.

Consistency is achieved by using the dsm-firmenich broiler fan, a proven and effective measure that ensures the correct amount of CAROPHYLL® products are added so as to deliver the desired skin color in every bird produced.

A golden yolk can only come from a healthy hen

Consumers worldwide are increasingly aware of the importance of healthy foods. They know that a golden yolk is the sign of a fresh egg from a healthy hen. The right husbandry, welfare and diet, in combination with CAROPHYLL® carotenoids, deliver eye-catching egg yolks that inspire consumer confidence around the globe.

We all have our own notion of the ‘right’ color for an egg yolk. This varies around the world, depending on geographical location, cultural context and local traditions. It is also influenced by the culinary use for which the eggs are intended. However, consumers worldwide recognize that a golden yolk invariably comes from a healthy hen. And they are asking for yolks with a deeper shade of orange. 

An egg yolk’s color is determined by its carotenoid content. Supplementing naturally occurring carotenoids with CAROPHYLL® red and CAROPHYLL® yellow from dsm-firmenich delivers exactly the right levels to produce the desired golden hue. Supplementation of the diet with CAROPHYLL® is completely safe and delivers a consistent egg color. It also increases the antioxidative status of the egg, thus helping preserve its freshness.

Consistent Yolks

The dsm-firmenich YolkFan™ has been the global standard for assessing egg yolk color for many years. In 2016 dsm-firmenich responded to calls for a higher color standard in Asian markets by introducing a new dsm-firmenich YolkFan™ with 16 blades – one more than the previous version.

Shades 1 to 15 remain the same as in previous editions, but a deeper shade of orange has been added at the end of the spectrum to reflect the needs of markets seeking an intensely pigmented yolk.

The 16th blade was the result of two years’ work by dsm-firmenich scientists who recreated the entire color range and looked for the right combination of reds and yellows to deliver the perfect 16th yolk color.

The dsm-firmenich Guidelines for Egg Yolk Pigmentation 2016 are a reliable source of scientific information. Under optimal conditions of animal health and husbandry, they can be used to produce precisely the desired yolk color.

The requisite color is chosen from a range of 16 different shades. The depth of the shade determines how much of each carotenoid is needed. Consider the xanthophyll contribution of the feed ingredients and add the recommended amount of CAROPHYLL® red and CAROPHYLL® yellow to the feed. The result is a perfect egg yolk color every time – which is just what the consumer asked for.

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The importance of optimum color

Color is a key focus for the final consumer and it is associated with health, quality and the premium nature of salmon and shrimp. Retailer studies clearly indicate that the consumers use color as a key purchasing criteria and prefer darker salmon fillet color. Achieving the correct pigmentation in salmons, shrimp and other marine species is also crucial to minimize downgrading or waste along the value chain.

Industry’s most trusted product

Since 1985, astaxanthin in a CAROPHYLL® Pink formulation has been successfully used by the global aquaculture industry. CAROPHYLL® Pink is recognised as the industry standard, delivering consistent product quality and optimum results across the value chain. In intensive aquaculture, dietary astaxanthin is the only source for flesh pigmentation. However, in the wild, pigmentation is a natural phenomenon which occurs due to the consumption of naturally occurring organic pigments, especially astaxanthin. Astaxanthin also plays a role in important biological functions and is a very powerful anti-oxidant. These biological functions include reproduction, fertilisation, egg quality and embryonic survival, growth and performance, health and immunity, pro-vitamin A functions.


As a leader in Climate Action it is important for DSM to lead by example; constantly seeking to reduce the carbon and environmental footprint of our products. An Environmental Product Declaration (EPD) is available on request to customers of CAROPHYLL® Pink. The EPD details the carbon footprint according to IPCC 2013 GWP 100a and also the cradle to gate environmental footprint of 1kg CAROPHYLL® Pink 10% according to the World Business Council for Sustainable Development (WBCSD).

Innovations in the language of color

As well as innovations in carotenoid products and formulations, DSM is recognised as the leader in colour measurement in salmon species and continues to innovate. In 1997 DSM developed the SalmoFan™ Colour fan, this was the second generation after the Roche Colour Card. A ShrimpFan Lineal is also launched and a digital version of the SalmoFan™ is coming soon. Each year DSM distributes hundreds of SalmoFan and Shrimp Fans across the entire value chain.

DSM continues to support the industry with investment in technical expertise and innovation delivering consistent colour across the value chain.


DSM beadlet formulation CAROPHYLL® Pink 10% CWS

  • Astaxanthin content 10%
  • Beadlet composition is a unique plant-based matrix of lignosulphonate and anti-oxidants. Formulated with non-GM, non-animal based ingredients and ethoxyquin free.
  • Origin: Switzerland & France


  • Nature-identical
  • Astaxanthin: 3,3’-dihydroxy-β, β-carotene-4,4’-dione (C40H53O4)


  • Excellent bioavailability and retention of astaxanthin in salmonids and shrimps
  • Superior handling properties
  • Designed for pre- and post- extrusion addition
  • Full solubility in cold water (4oC)
  • Shelf-life 36 months

Product support

DSM has a dedicated team of aquaculture experts around the world, across technical and analytical expertise available for customer support. As an example, for over 30 years DSM have been running an annual collaborative study of astaxanthin analysis (DSM astaxanthin global ring test).

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