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Carotenoids, also called tetraterpenoids, are yellow, orange, and red organic pigments that are produced by plants and algae, as well as several bacteria, and fungi. Carotenoids give the characteristic color to pumpkins, carrots, parsnips, corn, tomatoes, canaries, flamingos, salmon, lobster, shrimp, and daffodils. Carotenoids can be produced from fats and other basic organic metabolic building blocks by all these organisms. The only land dwelling arthropods known to produce carotenoids are aphids, and spider mites, which acquired the ability and genes from fungi. It is also produced by endosymbiotic bacteria in whiteflies. Carotenoids from the diet are stored in the fatty tissues of animals, and exclusively carnivorous animals obtain the compounds from animal fat. In the human diet, absorption of carotenoids is improved when consumed with fat in a meal. Cooking carotenoid-containing vegetables in oil and shredding the vegetable both increase carotenoid bioavailability.   Wikipedia

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carotenoid | carotenoids

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