Carotenoid composition of marigold (Tagetes erecta) flower extract used as nutritional supplement

J Agric Food Chem. 1999 Oct;47(10):4189-94. doi: 10.1021/jf990096k.


Commercially prepared marigold flower (Tagetes erecta) extract was saponified and analyzed for carotenoid composition. HPLC analyses were performed on two normal-phase columns (beta-Cyclobond and silica) and on a C(30) reversed-phase column. The extract contained 93% utilizable pigments (detected at 450 nm), consisting of all-trans and cis isomers of zeaxanthin (5%), all-trans and cis isomers of lutein, and lutein esters (88%). All were identified by chromatographic retention, UV-visible spectra, and positive ion electrospray mass spectrometry in comparison to authentic standards. Contrary to previous findings, insignificant levels (<0.3%) of lutein oxidation products were detected in the saponified extract. This compositional determination is important for the application of marigold extract in nutritional supplements and increases its value as a poultry feed colorant because it contains more biologically useful lutein compounds than previously believed.

Publication types

  • Research Support, Non-U.S. Gov't

MeSH terms

  • Animal Feed
  • Animals
  • Carotenoids / analysis*
  • Chromatography, High Pressure Liquid
  • Dietary Supplements
  • Food Coloring Agents
  • Humans
  • Nutritive Value
  • Plant Extracts / chemistry*
  • Poultry


  • Food Coloring Agents
  • Plant Extracts
  • Carotenoids