Published 2002

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Publication details

Journal : Comparative Biochemistry and Physiology - Part B: Biochemistry & Molecular Biology , vol. 133 , p. 437–444 , 2002

Publisher : Elsevier

International Standard Numbers :
Printed : 1096-4959
Electronic : 1879-1107

Publication type : Academic article

Contributors : Coral-Hinostroza, G.; Bjerkeng, Bjørn

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The composition of the fatty acids of astaxanthin esters and the distribution of astaxanthin optical RS isomers in the esterified and unesterified astaxanthin fractions extracted from the meal of the pelagic red crab langostilla (Pleuroncodes planipes; Decapoda, Anomura) were determined. Astaxanthin diesters comprised approximately 70%, monoesterified astaxanthin approximately 12%, and unesterified astaxanthin approximately 10% of total carotenoids, respectively. Unidentified carotenes and minor yellow xanthophylls represented approximately 8% of the total carotenoids. Three astaxanthin diester fractions (ratio 5:4:1) and one monoester fraction were clearly distinguished by thin-layer chromatography, and fatty acid moieties were determined in all of them. Saturated fatty acids accumulated in astaxanthin diesters, but were reduced in the monoester fraction when compared to langostilla crude oil extract (CE). Astaxanthin diesters, but not monoesters were enriched in C16:0 and C18:1n-9, when compared to the CE. Astaxanthin monoesters were rich in polyunsaturated fatty acids (≈70% of total fatty acids), in particular C20:5n-3 and C22:6n-3. Acylation of astaxanthin in langostilla seems to be selective rather than specific. The three diesterified astaxanthin fractions of langostilla had a ratio of approximately 3:1:3 between the (3R,3′R)-, (3R,3′S)-, and (3S,3′S)-astaxanthin isomers, whereas in the monoesterified and unesterified fractions the ratio was approximately 4:1:4. The astaxanthin optical RS isomer composition indicates that langostilla is unable to racemize astaxanthin.