Orange or yellow plant pigments, found mainly in carrots, green
leafed vegetables and tomatoes, which the human body converts
into 'Vitamin A' in the liver. Fades on exposure to light.
Can be commercially manufactured in the laboratory but beta-carotene,
with some alpha-carotene and gamma-carotene present, is normally
extracted from carrots and other yellow or orange fruits and
vegetables with hexane.
Used in butter and soft margarines, coffee sponge cakes, milk
products and soft drinks.
Vegetarians should be aware that some manufacturers use gelatine
(see E441) as a stabiliser. With the
move away from porcine and bovine gelatine this is likely to
be fish gelatine.