Record Information
Creation date2010-04-08 22:10:52 UTC
Update date2020-09-17 15:32:59 UTC
Primary IDFDB013716
Secondary Accession NumbersNot Available
Chemical Information
FooDB Namealpha-Carotene
Descriptionalpha Carotene belongs to the group of compounds known as carotenoids. More specifically carotenoids are classified as tetraterpenoids, being built from four terpene units (8 isoprene units) each containing 10 carbon atoms. As a result, carotenoids typically have a total of 40 carbon atoms. They are characterized by the presence of two end-groups (mostly cyclohexene rings, but also cyclopentene rings or acyclic groups) linked by a long-branched alkyl chain. There are more than 1100 known carotenoids. Carotenoids can be further categorized into two classes, xanthophylls (which contain oxygen) and carotenes (which are purely hydrocarbons and contain no oxygen). Carotenoids are among the most common pigments in nature and are natural lipid soluble antioxidants. alpha-Carotene is one of the primary isomers of carotene, although beta-carotene is the most abundant. There are six known carotene isomers including α-, β-, γ-, δ-, ε-, and ζ-carotene. These carotene isomers contain unsubstituted beta-ionone rings, which means they can be readily converted to retinol and vitamin A. In other words, they have pro-vitamin A activity. alpha-Carotene has less vitamin A activity than beta-carotene. This is because of its structure, as alpha-carotene it is converted to just one molecule of biologically active retinol after central cleavage, while beta-carotene is converted to two molecules after cleavage. Plants, fungi, and photosynthetic bacteria synthesize carotenes, while animals must obtain them as a dietary nutrient. In plants carotenes contribute to photosynthesis by transmitting the light energy they absorb to chlorophyll. They also protect plant tissues by helping to absorb the energy from singlet oxygen, an excited form of the oxygen molecule O2 which is formed during photosynthesis. alpha-Carotene is a very hydrophobic molecule, practically insoluble in water, and relatively neutral. alpha-Carotene is found in many common orange-, yellow-, and green-colored fruits and vegetables such as carrots, pumpkins, squash, apricots, sweet potatoes, and beans. The concentration of alpha-Carotene is especially high in orange carrots and high serum concentrations are associated with high carrot intake. Other plants and foods that have high levels of alpha-carotene include cloves, shallots, cumin, wolfberries, cantaloupes, papaya, spinach, broccoli, turnip, avocado, green peas, orange and red peppers, and tomatoes. alpha-Carotene (along with beta-carotene) exhibits numerous beneficial health or pharmacological properties including antioxidant, anti-obesity, anti-cancer, anti-aging, anti-atherosclerotic and anti-sunburn properties as well as hepatoprotective, neuroprotective and improved vision and night blindness prevention (PMID: 27047317).
CAS Number7488-99-5
alpha-Carotene (natural)ChEBI
a-Carotene (natural)Generator
α-carotene (natural)Generator
alpha-Carotene, (6'R)-isomerMeSH
α-Carotene, (6’R)-isomerHMDB
Predicted Properties
Water Solubility0.00031 g/LALOGPS
Physiological Charge0ChemAxon
Hydrogen Acceptor Count0ChemAxon
Hydrogen Donor Count0ChemAxon
Polar Surface Area0 ŲChemAxon
Rotatable Bond Count10ChemAxon
Refractivity191.88 m³·mol⁻¹ChemAxon
Polarizability71.41 ųChemAxon
Number of Rings2ChemAxon
Rule of FiveYesChemAxon
Ghose FilterYesChemAxon
Veber's RuleYesChemAxon
MDDR-like RuleYesChemAxon
Chemical FormulaC40H56
IUPAC name(6R)-1,5,5-trimethyl-6-[(1E,3E,5E,7E,9E,11E,13E,15E,17E)-3,7,12,16-tetramethyl-18-(2,6,6-trimethylcyclohex-1-en-1-yl)octadeca-1,3,5,7,9,11,13,15,17-nonaen-1-yl]cyclohex-1-ene
InChI IdentifierInChI=1S/C40H56/c1-31(19-13-21-33(3)25-27-37-35(5)23-15-29-39(37,7)8)17-11-12-18-32(2)20-14-22-34(4)26-28-38-36(6)24-16-30-40(38,9)10/h11-14,17-23,25-28,37H,15-16,24,29-30H2,1-10H3/b12-11+,19-13+,20-14+,27-25+,28-26+,31-17+,32-18+,33-21+,34-22+/t37-/m0/s1
Isomeric SMILESC/C(=C\C=C\C=C(/C)\C=C\C=C(/C)\C=C\C1=C(C)CCCC1(C)C)/C=C/C=C(\C)/C=C/[C@H]1C(C)=CCCC1(C)C
Average Molecular Weight536.8726
Monoisotopic Molecular Weight536.438201792
Description belongs to the class of organic compounds known as carotenes. These are a type of unsaturated hydrocarbons containing eight consecutive isoprene units. They are characterized by the presence of two end-groups (mostly cyclohexene rings, but also cyclopentene rings or acyclic groups) linked by a long branched alkyl chain. Carotenes belonging form a subgroup of the carotenoids family.
KingdomOrganic compounds
Super ClassLipids and lipid-like molecules
ClassPrenol lipids
Sub ClassTetraterpenoids
Direct ParentCarotenes
Alternative Parents
  • Carotene
  • Branched unsaturated hydrocarbon
  • Cycloalkene
  • Cyclic olefin
  • Unsaturated aliphatic hydrocarbon
  • Unsaturated hydrocarbon
  • Olefin
  • Hydrocarbon
  • Aliphatic homomonocyclic compound
Molecular FrameworkAliphatic homomonocyclic compounds
External Descriptors

Fruits and vegetables:

Physico-Chemical Properties - Experimental
Physico-Chemical Properties - Experimental
Physical stateSolid
Physical DescriptionNot Available
Mass CompositionC 89.49%; H 10.51%DFC
Melting PointMp 187°DFC
Boiling PointNot Available
Experimental Water SolubilityNot Available
Experimental logPNot Available
Experimental pKaNot Available
Isoelectric pointNot Available
ChargeNot Available
Optical Rotation[a]18643 +385 (C6H6)DFC
Spectroscopic UV Data471 () (hexane)DFC
DensityNot Available
Refractive IndexNot Available
Spectrum TypeDescriptionSplash KeyView
Predicted LC-MS/MSPredicted LC-MS/MS Spectrum - 10V, Positivesplash10-000i-0334190000-e05f79db2e425bfe8186JSpectraViewer
Predicted LC-MS/MSPredicted LC-MS/MS Spectrum - 20V, Positivesplash10-000b-0769200000-81f1f88961c73bc3943aJSpectraViewer
Predicted LC-MS/MSPredicted LC-MS/MS Spectrum - 40V, Positivesplash10-004j-2689700000-a8528456aa6fa28bfb10JSpectraViewer
Predicted LC-MS/MSPredicted LC-MS/MS Spectrum - 10V, Negativesplash10-000i-0000090000-df0db1851156c1e36da6JSpectraViewer
Predicted LC-MS/MSPredicted LC-MS/MS Spectrum - 20V, Negativesplash10-000i-0000090000-ac5ac3829642d0394d24JSpectraViewer
Predicted LC-MS/MSPredicted LC-MS/MS Spectrum - 40V, Negativesplash10-014i-0947360000-b2ba5d2cce5367c8424bJSpectraViewer
ChemSpider ID3571861
ChEMBL IDNot Available
KEGG Compound IDC05433
Pubchem Compound ID4369188
Pubchem Substance IDNot Available
ChEBI ID35147
Phenol-Explorer IDNot Available
DrugBank IDNot Available
CRC / DFC (Dictionary of Food Compounds) IDHVF46-E:JGG21-T
EAFUS IDNot Available
BIGG IDNot Available
KNApSAcK IDC00003765
HET IDNot Available
Food Biomarker OntologyNot Available
VMH IDNot Available
Flavornet IDNot Available
GoodScent IDNot Available
SuperScent IDNot Available
Wikipedia IDAlpha-Carotene
Phenol-Explorer Metabolite IDNot Available
Duplicate IDSNot Available
Old DFC IDSNot Available
Associated Foods
FoodContent Range AverageReference
Biological Effects and Interactions
Health Effects / Bioactivities
anti cancer35610 A substance that inhibits or prevents the proliferation of neoplasms.DUKE
anti proliferantDUKE
colorant37958 DUKE
provitamin A50188 A substance that can be converted into a vitamin by animal tissues.DUKE
EnzymesNot Available
PathwaysNot Available
MetabolismNot Available
BiosynthesisNot Available
Organoleptic Properties
FlavoursNot Available
Synthesis ReferenceNot Available
General ReferenceNot Available
Content Reference— U.S. Department of Agriculture, Agricultural Research Service. 2008. USDA National Nutrient Database for Standard Reference, Release 21. Nutrient Data Laboratory Home Page.
— Duke, James. 'Dr. Duke's Phytochemical and Ethnobotanical Databases. United States Department of Agriculture.' Agricultural Research Service, Accessed April 27 (2004).
— Shinbo, Y., et al. 'KNApSAcK: a comprehensive species-metabolite relationship database.' Plant Metabolomics. Springer Berlin Heidelberg, 2006. 165-181.