An eco-friendly and up-scalable approach to extract canthaxanthin from yeast cells

Ana M. Pereira*, Joana Durão, Joana Odila Pereira, Carlos Ferreira, Margarida Faustino, Ana Sofia Oliveira, Carla F. Pereira, Manuela E. Pintado, Ana P. Carvalho

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


Canthaxanthin is a naturally occurring ketocarotenoid pigment present in plants, algae, bacteria and some fungi. In addition to its coloring role, canthaxanthin has an excellent antioxidant activity, thus having additional market demands in the feed, food, cosmetic and pharmaceutical industries. Canthaxanthin can be directly isolated from its natural source or produced by chemical synthesis, but these strategies either result in low yields, or use hazardous solvents, respectively. Therefore, the biosynthesis of canthaxanthin using microbial cell factories is becoming an advantageous alternative. Furthermore, microbial synthesis represents an economic and sustainable approach as it enables the use of agriculture and industrial wastes as substrates. In this work, the extraction, recovery and purification of canthaxanthin from modified yeasts using food grade solvents and up-scalable methodologies was studied. The resulting canthaxanthin-enriched extract was characterized (UV-Vis, PXRD and SEM) and quantified (HPLC), resulting in a canthaxanthin purity of 43.7 % (w/w).
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)170-176
Number of pages7
JournalFood and Bioproducts Processing
Publication statusPublished - Aug 2024


  • Biotechnological production
  • Canthaxanthin
  • Extraction
  • Food pigments
  • Scalable methodologies
  • Structural characterization


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