Astaxanthin from Crayfish (Procambarus clarkii) as a Pigmentary Ingredient in the Feed of Laying Hens


  • A. Pérez-Gálvez Grupo de Química y Bioquímica de Pigmentos. Departamento de Biotecnología de Alimentos, Instituto de la Grasa (CSIC)
  • J. J. Negro-Balmaseda Unidad de Biología Aplicada, Estación Biológica Doñana (CSIC)
  • M. I. Mínguez-Mosquera Grupo de Química y Bioquímica de Pigmentos. Departamento de Biotecnología de Alimentos, Instituto de la Grasa (CSIC)
  • M. V. Cascajo-Almenara Departamento de Fisiología, Anatomía y Biología Celular. Centro Andaluz de Biología del Desarrollo. Universidad Pablo de Olavide
  • J. Garrido-Fernández Grupo de Química y Bioquímica de Pigmentos. Departamento de Biotecnología de Alimentos, Instituto de la Grasa (CSIC)



Astaxanthin, Carotenoids, Color, Crayfish, Egg yolk


Chicken egg yolks generally owe their color to yellow carotenoids. The addition of synthetic red pigments allows changes in color, from the original yellow to red hues which may be more appealing to consumers in certain markets.Our aim has been to test whether ground crayfish shells, which are a rich and natural source of astaxanthin, produce detectable changes in the coloration of egg yolks through the accumulation of this carotenoid. Laying hens were fed with a commercial feed mixed with crayfish powder and the carotenoid profiles of the yolks in the eggs laid during the trial were monitored by HPLC. The analyses showed a progressive increase in the astaxanthin concentration in the egg yolks, reaching similar levels to those obtained for the rest of present carotenoid pigments.


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How to Cite

Pérez-Gálvez A, Negro-Balmaseda JJ, Mínguez-Mosquera MI, Cascajo-Almenara MV, Garrido-Fernández J. Astaxanthin from Crayfish (Procambarus clarkii) as a Pigmentary Ingredient in the Feed of Laying Hens. grasasaceites [Internet]. 2008Jun.30 [cited 2023Oct.1];59(2):139-45. Available from: