What Is alpha-Cryptoxanthin & What Foods Can I Find It In?

Alpha-Cryptoxanthin is a naturally occurring carotenoid pigment with provitamin A activity, and its structure closely resembles that of beta-carotene.

Alpha-Cryptoxanthin can be converted into active vitamin A through enzymatic activity in the small intestine.

Table of Contents

Cryptoxanthin: A Natural Carotenoid

Cryptoxanthin is a carotenoid commonly found in fruits and vegetables. It falls under the category of organic compounds known as xanthophylls, which are carotenoids containing an oxygenated carotene backbone. (source )

Alpha-Cryptoxanthin is closely related to beta-carotene. (source )

Alpha-Cryptoxanthin in the Body

Alpha-Cryptoxanthin has been identified in human milk and ocular tissues. However, research in this area is limited, and we have limited knowledge of its potential physiological role. (source )

It has been reported that alpha-Cryptoxanthin exhibits strong antioxidative activity.

Alpha-Cryptoxanthin in Plants

Alpha-Cryptoxanthin serves as the major pigment in developing fruits. It is believed to be the sole carotenoid present in developing seeds, giving rise to the characteristic yellow color of the fruit.

In flowers, alpha-Cryptoxanthin can be found in pollen grains, and in leaves, it accumulates in the epidermis, particularly on the abaxial side.

Applications of Alpha-Cryptoxanthin

Cryptoxanthin is utilized as a colorant in various foods and beverages.

Alpha-Cryptoxanthin has the potential to be used as a food additive in the production of items like milk, soybean products, and cheese.

Foods Containing Alpha-Cryptoxanthin

Alpha-Cryptoxanthin is predominantly found in dairy and egg products. Examples of food sources include:

Foods in Our Nutrition Tool

Explore regularly updated top-ranked lists of foods for over 200+ nutrients in our nutrition tool. While we have a limited number of foods containing alpha-Cryptoxanthin in our tool, you can still find the short list of foods that contain alpha-Cryptoxanthin.

Sara Niemelä

co-founder Care Omnia, Head Content Creator

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Nutrition is my passion. I've spent thousands upon thousands of hours reading, analyzing, categorizing and comparing research studies.

I’m a wife and a mother of three. I enjoy the outdoors, cooking, and spending time with my family.