My watch list  


  Canthaxanthin is a carotenoid. It belongs to a larger class of phytochemicals known as terpenes. The chemical formula is C40H52O2[1]. It has E number E161g.

It was first isolated in edible mushrooms. It has also been found in green algae, bacteria, crustaceans, and fish such as carp, golden mullet, seabream and trush wrasse[1].

In the United Kingdom, canthaxanthin is allowed by law to be added to poultry feed, some sausages mainly exported to France, and trout and salmon feed[2]. In addition, the European Union has set the limit at 80 mg/kg of foodstuffing[1].

In Fish

Canthaxanthin is not found in wild Atlantic Salmon, but is minor carotenoid in Pacific Salmon[1]. Canthaxanthin is used in farm-raised trout[1]. Canthaxanthin is used in combination with astaxanthin for some salmon feeds[1].

Tanning Pills

FDA has no "tanning pills" approved for sale in the United States. In spite of this, there are companies that continue to market such produce. This include pills containing canthaxanthin. The FDA considers such items "adulterated cosmetics". As a results, as late as March 2005, it was still sending "Warning Letters" to the firms citing such products as containing "a color additive that is unsafe within the meaning of section 721(a) of the FD&C Act (FD&C Act, sec. 601(e))."[3]

From FDA & You Issue #3 - Spring/Summer 2003 - Sun Safety: Protect the Skin You’re In!:
Tanning pills have been associated with health problems, including an eye disorder called canthaxanthin retinopathy, which is the formation of yellow deposits on the eye's retina. Canthaxanthin has also been reported to cause liver injury and a severe itching condition called urticaria, according to the AAD.


  1. ^ Canthaxanthin - your questions answered - June 13, 2002
  2. ^ Warning Letters Cite Cosmetics as Adulterated Due to Violative Use of the Color Additive Canthaxanthin
This article is licensed under the GNU Free Documentation License. It uses material from the Wikipedia article "Canthaxanthin". A list of authors is available in Wikipedia.
Your browser is not current. Microsoft Internet Explorer 6.0 does not support some functions on Chemie.DE