β-Cryptoxanthin: Chemistry, Occurrence, and Potential Health Benefits

  • Yanli Jiao
  • Laura Reuss
  • Yu WangEmail author
Natural Products: From Chemistry to Pharmacology (C Ho, Section Editor)
Part of the following topical collections:
  1. Topical Collection on Natural Products: From Chemistry to Pharmacology
  2. Topical Collection on Natural Products: From Chemistry to Pharmacology


Purpose of Review

β-Cryptoxanthin is one of the most common carotenoids. With high concentrations in human serum and tissue, it is inversely associated with many life-threatening diseases. This paper presents a brief overview of the chemical properties and occurrence of β-cryptoxanthin and summarizes the recent trend in β-cryptoxanthin research.

Recent Findings

β-Cryptoxanthin is an oxygenated carotenoid common as both free and esterified forms in fruits and vegetables. The distribution of free β-cryptoxanthin and β-cryptoxanthin esters is dependent upon plant types and environmental conditions, such as season, processing techniques, and storage temperatures. The use of β-cryptoxanthin as a nutritional supplement, food additive, and food colorant have stimulated a variety of approaches to identify and quantify free β-cryptoxanthin and β-cryptoxanthin esters. Advances in analytic approaches, including high-performance liquid chromatography (HPLC) coupled with UV and mass spectrometry (MS), have been developed to analyze β-cryptoxanthin, especially the ester forms. In recent years, β-cryptoxanthin has been thought to play an import role in promoting human health, particularly among the population receiving β-cryptoxanthin as a supplement. Some research indicates that the bioavailability of β-cryptoxanthin in typical diets is greater than that of other major carotenoids, suggesting that β-cryptoxanthin-rich foods are probably good sources of carotenoids.


β-Cryptoxanthin provides various potential benefits for human health. The chemical structure, occurrence, and absorption of β-cryptoxanthin are discussed in this review. This review provides the latest major approaches used to identify and quantify β-cryptoxanthin. Additionally, various benefits, including provitamin A, anti-obesity effects, antioxidant activities, anti-inflammatory and anti-cancer activity, are summarized in this review.


β-Cryptoxanthin Chemical structure Method of analysis Occurrence Bioactivity 


Compliance with Ethical Standards

Human and Animal Rights and Informed Consent

This article does not contain any studies with human or animal subjects performed by any of the authors.


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Copyright information

© Springer Nature Switzerland AG 2019

Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.Citrus Research & Education CenterUniversity of FloridaLake AlfredUSA
  2. 2.Food Science and Human NutritionUniversity of FloridaGainesvilleUSA

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