any of three yellow or orange fat-soluble pigments having the formula C40H56, found in many plants, especially carrots, and transformed to vitamin A in the liver; provitamin A.
- Also carotin.
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British Dictionary definitions for carotene
any of four orange-red isomers of an unsaturated hydrocarbon present in many plants (β-carotene is the orange pigment of carrots) and converted to vitamin A in the liver. Formula: C 40 H 56
Collins English Dictionary - Complete & Unabridged 2012 Digital Edition © William Collins Sons & Co. Ltd. 1979, 1986 © HarperCollins Publishers 1998, 2000, 2003, 2005, 2006, 2007, 2009, 2012
Scientific definitions for carotene
Any of various organic compounds that occur as orange-yellow to red pigments in many plants and in animal tissue. In plant leaves, carotenes aid in the absorption of light energy by transferring the energy to chlorophyll and act as antioxidants protecting chlorophyll from damage by oxidation. In animals, carotenes are converted to vitamin A primarily in the liver. They are members of the carotenoid family of compounds and give plants such as carrots, pumpkins, and dandelions their characteristic color. Chemical formula: C40H56. See also xanthophyll.
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