Definitions for xanthophyllˈzæn θə fɪl
This page provides all possible meanings and translations of the word xanthophyll
xanthophyll, xanthophyl, lutein(noun)
yellow carotenoid pigments in plants and animal fats and egg yolks
Any of various hydroxy, carbonyl or carboxylic acid derivatives of carotenes.
Alternative name for lutein.
Origin: From xantho- (from ) + -phyll (from ).
a yellow coloring matter found in yellow autumn leaves, and also produced artificially from chlorophyll; -- formerly called also phylloxanthin
Origin: [Xantho- + Gr. fy`llon leaf.]
Xanthophylls are yellow pigments that form one of two major divisions of the carotenoid group. The name is from Greek xanthos and phyllon, due to their formation of the yellow band seen in early chromatography of leaf pigments. Their molecular structure is similar to carotenes, which form the other major carotenoid group division, but xanthophylls contain oxygen atoms, while carotenes are purely hydrocarbons with no oxygen. Xanthophylls contain their oxygen either as hydroxyl groups and/or as pairs of hydrogen atoms that are substituted by oxygen atoms acting as a bridge. For this reason, they are more polar than the purely hydrocarbon carotenes, and it is this difference that allows their separations from carotenes in many types of chromatography. Typically, carotenes are more orange in color than xanthophylls. Like other carotenoids, xanthophylls are found in highest quantity in the leaves of most green plants, where they act to modulate light energy and perhaps serve as a non-photochemical quenching agent to deal with triplet chlorophyll, which is overproduced at high light levels in photosynthesis. The xanthophylls found in the bodies of animals, and in dietary animal products, are ultimately derived from plant sources in the diet. For example, the yellow color of chicken egg yolks, fat, and skin comes from ingested xanthophylls.
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