Chemical synthesis project. A new yellow carotenoid*
Chemical Process Technology, Roche Vitamins Ltd., CH-4070
Abstract: Naturally occurring colorants have been
used in food processing for centuries to give meals an appealing color.
In the first half of the 20th century, the newly discovered brilliant
azo dyes, amongst other artificial colorants (indol, triphenylmethane,
and methine dyes), were used as pigments for food coloration. The toxicity
and/or allergenic potential of some of these colorants were discovered
much later. One of these pigments with a critical safety profile is
the azo dye tartrazine, which exhibits a nicely fresh greenish-yellow
color. The use of tartrazine is now banned in several countries and
restricted in others due to its unfavorable safety profile.
With the aim of extending the color fan of nature-identical food colorants
offered by Roche and therefore offering a less critical colorant to
the food industry, a project was initiated at Roche. The goal was to
find a safer, naturally occurring pigment with a color hue similar to
This paper discusses the process of how such a project is addressed
in industry, as well as how promising candidates were selected from
the wide variety of the naturally occurring carotenoids. The syntheses
of some of these carotenoids will also be described.
*Lecture presented at the 13 th International Symposium
on Carotenoids, Honolulu, Hawaii, USA, 6-11 January 2002.
Other lectures are published in this issue, pp. 1369-1477.
Page last modified 18 September 2002.
Copyright © 2002 International Union of Pure and Applied Chemistry.
Questions or comments about IUPAC, please contact, the Secretariat.
Questions regarding the website, please contact web