astaxanthin

play
noun as·ta·xan·thin \ ˌa-stə-ˈzan(t)-thən \

Definition of astaxanthin

:a carotenoid pigment C40H52O4 found in red- or pink-colored aquatic organisms (such as shrimp, lobster, and salmon) and the feathers of some birds that is used especially as a food coloring and dietary supplement
  • Wild salmon attain their color by absorbing a carotenoid called astaxanthin from their krill-based diet, while farmed salmon eat fish feed supplemented with various sources of astaxanthin to enhance their grayish color.
  • Cook's Illustrated
  • Astaxanthin is found in many marine animals, like shrimp and fish, and is also responsible for the pink color of flamingos that feed on crustaceans rich in the pigment.
  • —C. Claiborne Ray

Recent Examples of astaxanthin from the Web

These example sentences are selected automatically from various online news sources to reflect current usage of the word 'astaxanthin.' Views expressed in the examples do not represent the opinion of Merriam-Webster or its editors. Send us feedback.

Origin and Etymology of astaxanthin

New Latin Astacus + English xanthin


Seen and Heard

What made you want to look up astaxanthin? Please tell us where you read or heard it (including the quote, if possible).

Love words? Need even more definitions?

Subscribe to America's largest dictionary and get thousands more definitions and advanced search—ad free!

WORD OF THE DAY

all at once

Get Word of the Day daily email!

Test Your Vocabulary

Merriam-Webster's New Words Quiz—Fall 2017 Edition!

  • young-plant-shoots
  • Which of the following is a new sense of the word bunny?
True or False

Test your knowledge - and maybe learn something along the way.

TAKE THE QUIZ
SCRABBLE® Sprint

Test Your Knowledge - and learn some interesting things along the way.

TAKE THE QUIZ

Love words? Need even more definitions?

Subscribe to America's largest dictionary and get thousands more definitions and advanced search—ad free!