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United States Department of Agriculture

Agricultural Research Service

Simon: Pigment Power
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Pigment Power in Carrot Colors

How pigments promote good health

WHITE ORANGE PURPLE OUTSIDE
ORANGE INSIDE
RED YELLOW
white root orange root purple root red root yellow root
Health benefit = None from pigment, but fiber for digestive health Health benefit = Vitamin A essential for healthy eyes and immune system Health benefit = Helps prevent heart disease & strokes, antioxidant ties up harmful free radicals, and vitamin A activity Health benefit = Helps prevent cancer (especially prostate), and vitamin A activity Health benefit = Eye health (especially macular degeneration) and cancer prevention
Pigment = No pigment, like wild carrot (Queen Anne's Lace) Pigment = Beta and alpha carotene Pigment = Anthocyanin, beta and alpha carotene Pigment = Lycopene (another carotenoid) and beta-carotene Pigment = Xanthophylls (other carotenoids), especially lutein
Origin = Northern Europe; 1600's Origin = Europe and Middle East; 1600's Origin = Afghanistan, Turkey, and Middle East; 900's Origin = India, China, and Japan; 1700's Origin = Afghanistan, Turkey, and Middle East; 900's

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They all taste the same!

(This is based upon work supported by Cooperative State Research, Education, and Extension Service, U.S. Dept. of Agriculture under Agreement No. 2000-4258 of IFAFS)
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Last Modified: 11/8/2005